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.

 

Libyan court sentences Kadhafi son to death in absentia

Two Bahrain police killed in 'terror' attack

Syrian army, Kurds push IS out of Hasakeh

Air raids and clashes shatter Yemen truce

Iran urged to free Washington Post journalist

UN aid chief calls for greater Syria access

Rebels gain ground near Syrian regime heartland

Cairo furniture factory fire kills 25

Javad Zarif has 'no concern' about nuclear deal

Somalia unable to hold full elections in 2016

Kuwait sentences 4 Egyptians to death for murder

Turkish sergeant shot dead by Kurdish militant

Netanyahu: Iran a 'formidable' danger to Europe

Iran's conservative media slams French FM over export of tainted blood

NATO stands with Turkey in face of 'terrorism'

Mogherini due in Iran for nuclear deal talks

Erdogan: No peace process with Kurds amid attacks

Saudi FM denounces 'aggressive' Iran statements

Two suspected jihadists in Cairo raid

Saudi king supports Turkish military action

Morocco media boss to pay defamation damages for transport minister

Abbas vs. Dahlan: Rumblings in Ramallah raise questions on Palestinian politics

Iraq Shiite chief sees no change in Turkey stance on IS

Coalition jets accidentally hit pro-government Yemen forces

ISIS on agenda as Cameron leads trade mission to Southeast Asia

PKK 'never respected' peace process

Arab ministers to meet after Jerusalem clashes

US joins forces with Turkey: Agreement to forge 'ISIS-free zone' in Syria

Ahead of emergency meeting, Turkey ‘has not asked’ for NATO help

Obama vows to keep up pressure on Somalia's Shebab

EU foreign chief due in Saudi Arabia for talks on Iran, Yemen

Kurds cut key jihadist supply route in northern Syria

Turkey could "change the balance" in Syria

Rebel fire kills Syrian reporter in Damascus

Turkish tanks shell Kurdish-held Syria village

Saudi-led coalition suspends Yemen air war

13 killed in Mogadishu hotel car bomb attack

Bomb blast kills at least six people in Somalia capital

Death toll from Nile boat crash rises to 36

Pro-Hadi forces battle retreating rebels in south Yemen

Iraq forces retake university campus on edge of Ramadi

Egypt extends state of emergency in parts of Sinai Peninsula

Clashes erupt as Israel security forces raid Al-Aqsa mosque compound

Fatigue, but not defeat: Syria army faces manpower shortage

Fragile truce in danger as Turkey blames PKK for deadly attack