The United Nations’ human rights chief, Navi Pillay, says fighters with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have almost certainly committed war crimes in northern Iraq in recent days by executing hundreds of non-combatant men.
In a statement, Pillay said corroborated reports show that soldiers, military conscripts, police, and others who surrendered or were captured by the Al-Qaeda splinter group have been summarily executed during the past five days.
Pillay said: “Although the numbers cannot be verified yet,” the killings appeared to be a “systematic series of cold-blooded executions, mostly conducted in various locations in the Tikrit area.”
She said the Islamic militants also had executed 13 imams in Mosul for refusing to pledge allegiance to ISIL.
ISIL has claimed that it killed some 1,700 Shi’ite military recruits in Tikrit, posting photos online that show what appeared to be dozens of execution victims.
Washington says the Sunni-led militants are trying to stoke sectarian tensions in Iraq.
Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP