- The Washington Times
Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Iraqi government has started an investigation into a massacre in the eastern village of Barwanah that left 72 people dead.

Five witnesses spoke to Reuters about killings that allegedly took place by Shiite militias on Monday. Some of the suspects also appeared to be part of government security forces.

“They took them behind the wall. Less than a minute, then a gunshot,” businessman Abu Omar toldReuters on Wednesday by phone. “All we could hear was the gunshots. We couldn’t see.”

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Mr. Omar said that a few dozen men in black and brown uniforms arrived in his town driving 10 Humvees. That is when the killing began.

“My cousin raised his head, so someone slapped him,” Abu Maz’el, a 25-year-old farmer told Reuters. “Five minutes later, they came and took him away and executed him.”

Abdullah al-Jubouri, a 23-year-old college graduate, told Reuters that he hid in a garbage can when the executions started. He said that some Iraqi security forces stood there and cried as 13 men were lined up and shot.

“I saw them falling like domino pieces,” Mr. al-Jubouri told the news service.

Rafid Jaboori, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s spokesman, said that an investigation would be launched immediately.

“The prime minister has ordered an urgent investigation, and we are awaiting the results. I don’t want to come to any conclusions now. When the results of this investigation come out, we will have a full picture,” said Mr. Jaboori, Reuters reported.

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