At least eight civilians were abducted and shot dead in Saladin province of Iraq, a human rights body said.
“Armed groups from Hashd al-Shaabi forces abducted 25 civilians on Oct. 17, released 13 of them, killed eight, and the other four are still unheard of,” according to a written statement by Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor on Thursday.
The bodies of the eight people, including children, were found on an agricultural area with bullet scars on their heads and chests, the statement read. The identities of the civilians killed were also given in the statement.
Local sources said the perpetrators, who were wearing military uniforms and driving vehicles with Hashd al-Shaabi’s emblem, wanted to avenge the killing of one of their militants by Daesh.
“The bodies left on the agricultural land at 11 o’clock had knife and bullet scars. It was so obvious that they were tortured,” said one of the locals who did not want to be named due to security concerns.
“These groups often abduct people and we haven’t heard of anyone previously abducted,” he added.
Enes Cercavi, the organization’s middle east and northern Africa regional manager, said: “Abduction and murder of Iraqis are a crime against humanity. There should be no flexibility in terms of revealing and punishing the perpetrators.”
The organization also urged the Iraqi government to take concrete steps against the militia and stop the chaos.