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Iraq Sentences 40 To Death Over 2014 Tikrit Massacre

An Iraqi court has sentenced 40 men to death for their role in the 2014 massacre of hundreds of army recruits by the Islamic State (IS) group.

A spokesman for Iraq's judiciary, Abdel Sattar Bayraqdar, said on February 18 that the Central Criminal Court in Baghdad handed down the sentences in accordance with the country's antiterrorism law.

Bayraqdar said the court acquitted seven other defendants in the case for lack of evidence.

He did not provide other details, and it wasn't immediately clear whether the verdicts could be appealed.

In a similar trial in July 2015, 24 men were sentenced to hang over the massacre committed during the first days of the IS's group's lightning offensive in Iraq in June 2014.

The militants said at the time that it had executed 1,700 soldiers who had fled Camp Speicher, a base near the city of Tikrit, but Human Rights Watch estimated that 770 soldiers had been killed.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa

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