Kirkuk (IraqiNews.com) Islamic State extremists executed late Monday eight civilians in the group’s stronghold town of Hawija, Kirkuk, for helping fellow locals flee the region, sources said.
A security source told Alsumaria News that the execution, which was carried out by beheading, came as per a decree from the group’s so-called “Sharia court”. They were accused of assisting civilians to flee to areas in Kirkuk held by Kurdish Peshmerga troops as well as Salahuddin province.
Since Islamic State took over large parts of Iraq in 2014 to proclaim an “Islamic Caliphate”, it held a handful of areas in southwestern Kirkuk, where civilians have been subjected to extreme religious governance, brutal tortures and executions. IS’s reign forced thousands of civilians to flee to central Kirkuk.
Islamic State militants have reportedly tortured and enslaved civilians at areas under their control for violating their religious rules, and executed many for either acting as informants for security services or attempting to escape “the land of the Caliphate” as the common charge reads.
There has not been yet an official campaign to liberate Kirkuk, but it is expected that the government will move to clear Islamic State pockets across Iraq after finishing with its current campaign to expel the group from Mosul, the group’s largest bastion in Iraq.