MOSUL, Iraq - The chief executioner of the ISIS extremist group known for the brutal beheadings of victims has himself been executed in an ambush in Nineveh, in northwestern Iraq, various new sources in the region report.
The hulking man who was pictured with his face masked and wearing black robes from head to toe in ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) propaganda photos and videos as he butchered his victims was known as "Abu Sayyaf". The nickname, which means "father of swordsmith", is also used by branch of the Islamic extremist group in the Philippines that has also used beheadings and kidnappings to terrorise.
A security source told Alsumaria News that the man was stabbed to death in an ambush west of Nineveh by an "unknown armed group". Other reports said that he had been shot to death.
"The armed group ambushed him at the al-Dawasa region, in the western side of the city, and stabbed him several times," the paper reported the source saying. "He died immediately.
Abu Sayyaf was said to have beheaded hundreds with his sword, then dumped all the severed heads in the same hole in the al-Khasafa region of the country.
Iraqi journalist Muhammad Yawar was quoted by ARA News as saying: "Abu Sayyaf was a reflection of the brutality of this terrorist group."
"Abu Sayyaf was one of the scariest executioners in Nineveh," he told the ARA News. "He was known for his huge body and heavy arms. He was one of the renowned faces in the ISIS propaganda videos."
The Daily Mail Online noted that a growing number of ISIS leaders have been assassinated and kidnapped following a major offensive to retake its stronghold of Mosul that was launched by the Iraqi government in October last year (2016).
With the aid of a US-led coalition, some 3,300 militants have been reported killed there.