First Published: 2004-09-02

 
Three Turkish hostages executed in Iraq
 

Turkish drivers held hostage by Tawhid wal Jihad found shot dead on roadside outside Samarra.

 

Middle East Online

The time for mercy is over: Kidnappers

DOHA - Arabic-language satellite television Al-Jazeera said Thursday that three Turkish hostages held by an Islamist group in Iraq had been killed, saying it had received a video of the execution.

Police and medical officers in Iraq said that three Turkish drivers were found shot dead on the roadside outside the rebel den of Samarra north of Baghdad.

In Ankara, a Turkish official said the Al-Jazeera report "seems credible," but it was not clear if the bodies in Samarra were the those of the slain hostages.

Al-Jazeera said the kidnappers, members of the Tawhid wal Jihad group linked to alleged Al-Qaeda operative Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, had threatened in a statement to kill foreigners in Iraq and warned: "The time for mercy is over."

The television showed a photo of the three Turks seated and holding identity cards, flanked by three armed and masked men.

News of the execution came after an overnight US air strike on a suspected Zarqawi hideout in the Iraqi rebel stronghold of Fallujah which killed 20 people.

A resident of Jalsyia, 11 kilometres (seven miles) outside Samarra, discovered the bodies of the three men late Wednesday, Police Colonel Fahran Mohammed told AFP.

They had been executed two days earlier, with bullet wounds to the head and stomach, a local doctor said.

Identification papers were found on two of the dead men, identifying them as Yahya Sadr, 53, and Majid Mehmet al-Gilami, 42.

Zarqawi, who has a 25-million dollar bounty on his head, runs Tawhid wal Jihad (Unity and Holy War), an extremist Sunni Muslim Islamic faction with links to Al-Qaeda.

US military officials believe Tawhid al-Jihad has picked up members from Iraqi fundamentalist factions Ansar al-Islam and Ansar al-Sunna over the last year and has firm ties with two of Iraq's militant Islamic factions.

 

Egypt lists Hamas as terrorist organisation

Yemen separatists suspend participation in UN-sponsored talks

Iran shrugs off Netanyahu bid to abort nuclear deal

Jailed Kurdish leader calls on followers to lay down arms

Iraq reopens national museum more than 10 years after looting

Scores dead as car bombs target crowded market in Iraq capital

Dozens dead as Qaeda takes strategic rebel base in Syria

UAE reopens Yemen embassy in Aden

Libya PM threatens new air strikes with Egypt against IS

Qatar takes full ownership of Porta Nuova

Roadmap finally agreed to end brutal Syria conflict

Turkey not placing high priority on fighting IS

IS militants destroy priceless ancient artefacts in Iraq’s Mosul

Aden becomes Yemen de facto ‘political capital’

Qatar emir committed to 'stability' in Egypt despite row

Rouhani adviser blames ‘extremists’ for rights violations

US-led coalition raids IS targets in northeastern Syria

IS executioner identity revealed

3 sentenced to death over Bahrain police killings

Hollande condemns French MPs for meeting Assad

HRW: Kurds preventing return of Arabs to disputed Iraq areas

One dead in series of Cairo bombings

UN Security Council calls for stepping up Yemen talks

Kerry: US, Iran have 'mutual interest' in defeating IS

Australian FM warns women against 'romantic adventure' with IS

Lebanese synagogue gets second life

Netanyahu speech to test resilience of US-Israeli ties

Austria adopts 'Islam of European character'

Tuareg chief issues plea for Mali unity

UN: Saleh amassed between $32-60 billion

Libyan FM warns country could be next Syria

Iran rejects US claims of role in Yemen crisis

French planes on Gulf-based carrier make first strikes

Top US official warns against Netanyahu speech to congress

Four French MPs meet Assad in Syria

FIFA cites 'problems' in worker conditions for Qatar World Cup

Mosque torched near Bethlehem

Egypt TV host faces trial for false bathhouse accusations

Turkey drives hard bargain over crucial missile deal

Obama nominates first US ambassador to Somalia since 1991

Obama praises Qatar as 'strong partner' in fighting IS

Saudi goes hi-tech against IS threat

Sisi grants Egypt authorities sweeping anti-terror powers

Algeria police prevent anti-shale gas protest

Turkey revives Istanbul canal plan