Hawija (IraqiNews.com) Three Islamic State members have died of a poisoned meal in the group’s stronghold of Hawija, southwest Kirkuk, a security source said Friday.
The trio died at a checkpoint run by the group when they were offered a meal by unknown individuals, but the food was apparently poisoned, according to the source.
Islamic State fighters were deployed immediately in the streets of Hawija in search for the plotters.
Islamic State militants, who adopt an extreme version of Islam, have regularly sentenced violators of their religious directives to harsh sentences that could mount to death in many cases. Their government style forced thousands to flee the town.
Islamic State militants have been in control over Hawija and a few other surrounding regions since 2014, when they proclaimed an “Islamic Caliphate” spanning a third of Iraq and Syria.
Local tribal leaders and politicians from Kirkuk have mounted pressure on the Iraqi government to hasten with invading Hawija, suggesting that its people were experiencing a humanitarian crisis under the group’s rule. The Iraqi government is currently employing the largest portion of its military effort in Mosul, IS’s previously=proclaimed capital in Iraq where the group is reportedly cornered in a few square kilometers.