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Iraq hangs 38 members of IS, al-Qaeda for 'terrorism'

Rights groups have voiced concerns about the use of the death penalty in Iraq [Getty]

Date of publication: 14 December, 2017

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Iraq has executed 38 militants belonging to the Islamic State group or al-Qaeda for terrorism offences, days after declaring victory over jihadists.

Iraq hanged 38 militants belonging to the Islamic State group or al-Qaeda for terrorism offences on Thursday in the southern city of Nasiriyah, provincial authorities said.

It was the largest number of executions in a single day since September 25 when 42 people were put to death in the same prison.

"The prison administration executed on Thursday in the presence of Justice Minister Haidar al-Zameli, in Nasiriyah prison, 38 death row prisoners belonging to al-Qaeda or Daesh (IS) accused of terrorist activities," said Dakhel Kazem, a senior official in the provincial council.

They were all Iraqis but one also had Swedish citizenship, a prison source said.

Amnesty International has voiced repeated concerns about the use of the death penalty in Iraq, which it ranks as one of the world's top executioners behind China, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Saturday declared victory against IS after a three-year campaign by government forces backed by a US-led coalition and Iran-backed Shia militias to retake territory seized by the militants in 2014.

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