Amnesty International is investigating reports of serious human rights violations allegedly perpetrated by Shi’ite militiamen during the course of liberating Tikrit and nearby towns and villages. Among the crimes reported are the disappearances of civilians, looting, and the destruction of homes and businesses. Also, a senior Badr official crowed to reporters that all prisoners were executed. These are the same accusations that have followed the militias as they retook other Sunni territories from the Islamic State militants.
Security forces are finding more buried bodies in the Tikrit area. Near one mass grave, they discovered dozens of identification cards that matched the names of soldiers killed in last summer’s massacre at Camp Speicher. The number of bodies in the graves has not been released, but as many as 1,700 servicemembers were killed.
It is unclear how successful the operation in Tikrit has been. Tours of the city have been canceled, and reporters are not allowed to wander by themselves. Also, many of the militiamen believe that the U.S. military has been ineffectual in the operation and even helping the militants.
Kurdish officials revealed that about 1,500 Peshmerga members have been killed in the war against the Islamic State militants. Over 5,000 were wounded.
At least 76 were killed and 67 more were wounded in recent violence.
In Zagarit, militants killed six soldiers and wounded 11 more when they captured a bridge.
Militants killed four militiamen and wounded 12 more at a checkpoint near Samarra.
Gunmen in Taji killed a civilian.
Three militiamen were wounded during a mortar attack in Ishaqi.
In Ramadi, 11 militants were killed.
Security forces killed nine militants in Alam.
Six militants were killed in an airstrike in Mazra’a.
Clashes left six militants dead and two wounded in Sinjar.
In Tikrit, three militant leaders were killed.
Read more by Margaret Griffis
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