WASHINGTON — The country of Iraq, facing increasing instability within its border, executed 26 people accused of committing terrorism.
Reuters reported that Iraq’s Justice Ministry hanged the perpetrators, all of whom were Iraqi nationals. One of the more notable perpetrators was Adel al-Mashhadani, a local militia leader in Baghdad.
In an online statement by the Justice Ministry, Justice Minister Hassan al-Shimari said that al-Mashhadani was “famous for sectarian crimes”. al-Mashhadani was a part of the “Sahwa” or “Awakening” Sunni Muslim militia. The Sahwa were instrumental in helping the U.S. turn back al-Qaeda insurgents since 2006.
Now the country of Iraq is at the brink of a civil war as Sunni and Shi’a Muslim militia and gunmen are battling each other for absolute dominance. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that the U.S. will help Iraq battle insurgents without using American troops. Kerry even considered asking for Iran’s help in quelling the internal strife in Iraq, its longtime neighbor and regional rival.
Human Rights Watch, a human rights organization based in New York, said that Iraq has hanged at least 151 people in 2013. That number was a jump from 129 executions in 2012 and 68 in 2011.