Islamic State burns to death 45 people in Iraq town, says report

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Feb 17, 2015 22:11 IST

Militants of the Islamic State (IS) have burned to death 45 0people in the western Iraqi town of al-Baghdadi, a police official said on Tuesday.

It was not clear who the people were or why they were killed but BBC quoted Col Qasim al-Obeidi as saying he believed some were members of the security forces.

IS fighters captured much of al-Baghdadi, located near Ain al-Asad airbase, last week.

Obeidi said a compound that houses the families of security personnel and local officials was under attack. He sought help from the government and the world community.

The fighting and poor communications in the area made it difficult to confirm the report, BBC reported.

The report of the latest executions by the IS came two days after the group released a video depicting the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians near a waterfront in the Libyan province of Tripoli.

The Egyptians were workers taken hostage by the IS during two attacks on the coastal town of Sirte in December and January.

Earlier this month, IS issued a video showing militants burning alive Jordanian air force pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh, who was captured after his plane crashed in Syria in December.

The town of al-Baghdadi had been besieged by IS fighters for months before its fall on Thursday. It was one of the few towns still controlled by the Iraqi government in Anbar province, where IS and allied tribesmen launched an offensive in January last year.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm John Kirby, however, told reporters on Friday that Al-Baghdadi's capture marked the first time in the last few months that the IS had taken new ground.

The nearby Ain al-Asad airbase, where 320 US Marines are training the Iraqi army's 7th Division, is only 8 km away. The airbase was attacked by IS militants, including suicide bombers, on Friday but the assault was repelled by Iraqi troops backed by US-led coalition aircraft.

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