Nasiriyah (Iraq) (AFP) – Iraq on Sunday hanged 36 men convicted over the 2014 massacre by Sunni jihadists and allied militants of hundreds of military recruits, officials said.
They had been found guilty of involvement in the “Speicher” massacre, named after a base near Tikrit where up to 1,700 recruits were kidnapped before being executed in a massacre claimed by the Islamic State group.
“The executions of 36 convicted over the Speicher crime were carried out this morning in Nasiriyah prison,” a spokesman for the governor’s office in Dhiqar, the province of which Nasiriyah is the capital, told AFP.
“The governor of Dhiqar, Yahya al-Nasseri and Justice Minister Haidar al-Zamili were present to oversee the executions,” Abdelhassan Dawood said.
“They were transferred to Nasiriyah last week after the president approved the executions,” he said, referring to the necessary green light from Fuad Masum.
Following the death of more than 300 people in the worst ever single bomb attack to strike Baghdad last month, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had said he wanted to expedite the execution of inmates sentenced to death in terrorism cases.
The Dhiqar governor confirmed to AFP that the executions were carried out by hanging.
His spokesman said that around 400 of the Speicher massacre victims were from the Dhiqar province, which is predominantly Shiite and located in Iraq’s south.