Kirkuk (IraqiNews.com) Islamic State militants have executed group of civilians in al-Hawija district over attempting to flee ‘the land of caliphate’, officials said.
“Information from our sources in Hawija showed that the executed people earlier helped their families escape to the liberated regions,” Ahmed Khurshid, spokesperson of Hawija tribal mobilization troops, told Kirkuk Now website. The victims were held by IS as they tried to join their families at the freed regions
Meanwhile, Sheikh Marzouq al-Nae’my, head of al-Nae’m tribe, said, “IS executed 25 persons, however, we expect a higher figure as some people are still missing.”
“We were informed through our sources that a massacre was committed by IS,” the tribesman said, adding that the massacre “will not be the last one.”
Dozens of residents from Hawija and the regions in its vicinity escape to Kirkuk province on a daily basis. Despite the risky routes to the freed regions, the civilians prefer death to staying under IS control.
Hawija, located 55 KM west of Kirkuk, has been held by IS since mid-2014.
The Iraqi government is expected to launch an offensive to retake IS-occupied areas in Kirkuk once it is done with eradicating IS from Mosul, the group’s biggest bastion in Iraq.