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.

 

16 killed in Israeli shelling of UN school in Gaza

Islamists capture key Benghazi army base

US plans largest ever sale of lethal missiles to Iraq

Mosul’s residents rise up against jihadists

Qatar invests in Israeli soccer

Militants fire at Tunisia army helicopter

Italian fire-fighting planes to come to Libya rescue

Syria rebels advance towards Hama military airport

Bloodshed in Gaza surges amid no truce

Major western powers call for Libya ceasefire

US-Israeli ties sink to new depths over Gaza war

UN warns buying oil from terrorists could lead to sanctions

Air Algerie crash black boxes sent to France

Warning of Tripoli catastrophe after huge oil depot blaze

US, UN call for immediate Gaza ceasefire

Egypt army kills 14 jihadists in restive Sinai Peninsula

Calls for temporary Gaza ceasefire fall on deaf ears

Yemen army foils new Qaeda attempt to seize military posts

Investigators need ‘few days’ to probe cause of Algeria plane crash

Tunisia army suffers more losses in open war with terrorism

Jihadists advance amid escalation in Syria anti-regime offensive

Iraq Shiite militia takes bloody revenge against ‘Islamic State’ in Baquba

Fierce clashes kill at least 38 people in Benghazi

Israel resumes devastating military assault on Gaza

Thousands face famine as food security situation worsens in Somalia

Death toll in Gaza climbs as fragile ceasefire reveals destruction

Egypt summons Turkey charge d'affaires for second time in one week

‘Islamic State’ jihadists dynamite Shiite shrine in Mosul

US evacuates embassy staff in Libya over ‘real risk’

Investigators begin 'difficult' probe into Air Algerie plane disaster

Armed men snatch Head of Baghdad Provincial Council

‘Islamic State’ beheads Syrian soldiers in Raqa

Kerry in Paris for talks on long-term Gaza truce

Hezbollah chief speaks out on Gaza

Two rival Islamic states in Syria power struggle

Crete protest against Syria chemicals destruction in Mediterranean

74 killed in IS assault on Syria regime territory

Iran confirms arrest of Washington Post correspondent

Somali 'Shebab commanders' killed in AU offensive

Paris: survivors of Air Algerie jet crash 'unlikely'

Jordan shots down drone near Syria border

Gaza civilian toll spiralling to above 800

UN urges Europe to tackle Mediterranean migrant crisis

From Israel with ‘virus’: Death threat letter reaches Palestinian mission in France

Ordeal of ‘apostasy’ woman ends with departure from Sudan