Iraqi Shi’ite Militias Have ‘Hit Lists’ of Sunnis to Execute

Police Shrug Off Kidnappings as 'Part of War'

Growing reports of summary executions in the Iraqi city of Baqubah are not isolated incidents, according to Iraqi police, but rather part of a growing policy among Shi’ite militias to kidnap and execute Sunnis they consider a “threat” to Shi’ite rule.

Several of the Shi’ite militias have composed “hit lists” of suspects, kidnapping them and publicly executing them, before hanging their body for display in the city square.

Local Sunnis report family members being snatched off the street, no reason given, and guards posted near their bodies to capture any relatives trying to bury them.

Baqubah police didn’t seem particularly concerned about the trend, dubbing the sectarian executions “part of war.” One policeman noted the Shi’ite militias were cruel, but that “cruelty sometimes can pay.”

There was little reason to expect anything else, as the police were already responsible for multiple mass executions of Sunni detainees. Yet this is only adding to the problem of Shi’ite-Sunni tensions in the country, and will make it all the more difficult for the Shi’ites to credibly rule the Sunni Arab minority if they end up retaking lost territory.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.