Iraqi group kills captive policemen

Islamic State of Iraq posts internet video of nine abductees being shot in the head.

    The group also claimed to be behind the earlier abduction and killing of 20 soldiers and policemen

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    Al Jazeera was not able to independently confirm the video's authenticity.
    The operation was filmed using several video cameras while a number of fighters armed with assault rifles watched from a distance.
    On Monday, the group announced its capture of the officers and showed their pictures, demanding the Iraqi government hand over officers involved in the alleged rape of Sabreen al-Janabi, a Sunni Muslim woman, within 72 hours.
    Al-Janabi had said she was raped by officers from the Shia-dominated police force, but the government said medical records showed she was not raped.

    "Destroy their checkpoints, invade their camps, severe their limbs, wrench their hearts out of their bodies"

    Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, al-Qaeda's Iraq wing leader

    The group behind the executions also demanded that the government hand over officers it said were involved in the killing of Sunni Muslims in the northern town of Tal Afar but gave no details of the events.
    An old audio recording from a statement by Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, al-Qaeda's Iraq wing leader, was edited into the tape, calling for retaliation after the alleged rape.
    "Destroy their checkpoints, invade their camps, severe their limbs, wrench their hearts out of their bodies. Today is the day of battle. Today we wipe off the disgrace. Today we shed blood," he said.
    On April 19, the group issued a video showing the killing of another group of 20 Iraqi soldiers and policemen who it claimed to have kidnapped in retaliation for the rape.
    Clash at Syrian border
    Meanwhile, the group Fatah al-Islam said on Thursday that Syrian security forces had killed four of its members while they were trying to cross into neighbouring Iraq, and vowed revenge.
    The group said five Syrian security personnel were also killed in the clash, but did not say when the clash had taken place.
    The Fatah al-Islam group identified two of the four fighters killed as "leaders" who used the aliases Abu al-Laith al-Shami and Abu Abdul-Rahman al-Shami, and said: "They were trying to cross to support brethren in the Islamic state of Iraq."
    "We vow and promise God that the blood of our brothers will not be wasted," the group said in a statement posted on the internet.
    US-Syria relations

    Syria's foreign minister  met with Rice on the sidelines of a conference in Egypt [Reuters]

    Baghdad and Washington have often accused Syria, which opposed the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, of not doing enough to block armed groups from crossing the border that straddles the 605km border between Syria and Iraq.
    Syria, though, says it is trying to block fighters from crossing its border.
    Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, called on Syria on Thursday to completely close its border to foreign fighters.
    She told the US congress on Thursday that any an improvement to US-Syria relations hinged on Syria's willingness to crack down on Palestinian groups and on foreign fighters crossing into Iraq.
    Rice met with Walid Muallem, her Syrian counterpart, last week on the sidelines of a conference on Iraq in the Egyptian resort of.
    "It was not a conversation about US-Syria relations," she told a senate foreign relations hearing.
    She said the meeting had been "about what Syria needs to do to stem the tide of foreign fighters" among other issues.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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