Islamic State militants have executed 12 civilians at their Kirkuk stronghold, a local source was quoted saying on Thursday as the province awaits imminent military operations against the extremist group.
The source told Alsumaria News that the group executed 12 residents of Hawija, the group’s stronghold in the southwest of the province. The execution was carried out at al-Bakkara military base.
The source did not mention an exact reason for the execution, nor the method by which it was implemented, but said the militants had embarked on a series of mass executions of their prisoners.
IS militants have regularly executed civilians for various reasons including escaping the group’s strongholds across the country, contacting security authorities and violating the group’s extreme religious rules.
A week ago, the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said operations would launch sooner to recapture Hawija. The announcement came shortly after the JOC said it totally took over Tal Afar, the Islamic State’s last stronghold in Nineveh province. Earlier in July, Iraqi troops, backed by a United States-led coalition, recaptured Mosul, Islamic State’s former capital.
The United Nations predicts 85.000 civilians to flee Hawija as anticipated military operations launch to liberate the province from IS.