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Iraq Hangs 36 Over Islamic State Massacre Of Military Recruits

Iraq has executed 36 men convicted of taking part in the massacre by the Islamic State (IS) extremist group of hundreds of military recruits in 2014, officials say.

The men were hanged at the Nasiriyah prison in the southern province of Dhiqar on August 21, Governor Yahya al-Nasiri said.

IS captured an estimated 1,700 soldiers from the Speicher military base when it overran the northern city of Tikrit in 2014.

The extremist group later posted gruesome images online of the soldiers being shot dead.

The men executed in Nasiriyah were arrested after Iraqi forces recaptured Tikrit in 2015. An Iraqi court sentenced them to death earlier this year.

"They were transferred to Nasiriyah last week after the country’s president approved the executions,” said a spokesman for the Dhiqar governor.

The spokesman said some 400 of the massacre victims were from Dhiqar.

“Tens of relatives of the victims attended the executions,” he added.

The Speicher massacre is considered one of IS's worst crimes since it seized large parts of Iraq in 2014.

Rights groups have criticized the Iraqi government for what they call Iraq's systematic resort to the death penalty.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP