Baghdad (Iraqinews.com) – Sweden’s police opened on Tuesday a probe into suspected murder of two Swedish nationals in Iraq by Islamic State extremists.
Two Swedish men appeared in a video while being shot dead for what is believed to be an apparent execution for belonging to a Shiite militia in Iraq.
According to relatives who spoke to Sweden’s evening newspaper Expressen, the two men are aged 50 and 20. They lived in western Sweden and have been missing since the end of last year.
“I can’t say more about their identity or background, just that they were living in Sweden,” Kristian Ljungberg from Sweden’s police said.
The Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has so far not confirmed the information about the deaths published by Expressen. The Swedish embassy in Iraq is in contact with local authorities to follow up the developments of the two men’ murder.
“Given the circumstances, it’s not certain we will be able to confirm the deaths – not at present in any case. That’s why we’ve referred the matter to the police,” spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lina Eidmark told TT News Agency of Sweden.
About 10 people with links to Islamic State returned to Sweden last year after travelling to the terror organization’s areas in Syria or Iraq.
A Swedish police official said that the flow of people travelling from Sweden to join Islamic State in the Middle East has dwindled in recent years. The number of people returning has also dropped.
Up to 300 Swedish people are believed to have travelled to Iraq and Syria to fight, with around 100 leaving in the peak year of 2013.