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Iraqi Shi'ite militias use hit lists to pick off foes - police

Published on Aug 1, 2014 12:29 AM

BAGHDAD (REUTERS) - Iraqi Shi'ite militias have drawn up hit lists of suspected Sunni insurgents to be kidnapped, executed and hung in public, security and police officials said, raising the stakes in a sectarian war tearing the country apart.

The militias became a vital line of defence for the Shi'ite-led government after the army collapsed in the face of a June advance by Sunni Islamic State militants who seized large swathes of land in the north and aim to march on Baghdad.

The militias' increasingly ruthless tactics, in towns north of the capital, near the front line with insurgents, could radicalise Sunnis who say innocent people are being swept up in the fighting.

"They have a hit list of Sunni individuals that are considered a threat to security forces and the Shi'ite population," said a senior security official in Diyala Province who works with the militias.

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