Iraq executes 26 people for "terrorism" offences
BAGHDAD (REUTERS) - Iraq has hanged 26 people convicted of "terrorism" offences, the Justice Ministry announced on Tuesday, pursuing a practice of mass executions despite international criticism.
All those executed on Sunday were Iraqi nationals. Among them was Adel al-Mashhadani, a "Sahwa" militia leader in Baghdad who was "famous for sectarian crimes", Justice Minister Hassan al-Shimari said in a statement on the ministry's website.
Sahwa (Awakening) militias are formed mostly of Sunni Muslim tribesmen who helped United States troops roll back an Al Qaeda-led insurgency in Iraq from 2006 onwards.
Violence in Iraq has surged in the past year to its highest levels since the Sunni-Shi'ite sectarian bloodshed that peaked in 2006 and 2007 when tens of thousands of people were killed.