Shiites in Tikrit: ‘We will slaughter him. We will take revenge for Colonel Imad’

…On Wednesday afternoon, Reuters saw two suspected Islamic State detainees – identified as an Egyptian and a Sudanese national – in a room in a government building. The Egyptian and the Sudanese were then taken outside by police intelligence.

Word spread that the two suspected Islamic State prisoners were being escorted out. Federal policemen, who had lost an officer named Colonel Imad the previous day in a bombing, flocked around the detainees.

The two prisoners were put in the back of a pickup truck. As the vehicle tried to leave, the crowd blocked it.

The federal policemen started shouting to the intelligence officers: Hand over the men. The intelligence officers tried to shield the prisoners. One pulled a sidearm as the federal police began swinging their fists.

The mob was screaming: “We want to avenge our Lieutenant Colonel.”

Shi’ite paramilitary men swarmed the area. The street filled with more than 20 federal police. Gunfire erupted. Bullets ricocheted. At least one of the Shi’ite fighters was wounded, and began bleeding from the leg.

The pickup truck tried to back up. People in the mob grabbed one of the prisoners from the truck, the Egyptian, and pulled him out.

The Egyptian sat silently at the feet of two big policemen in their twenties. His eyes filled with fear. He was surrounded by a few dozen people, a mix of federal police and Shi’ite militiamen.

“He is Daesh, and we should take revenge for Colonel Imad,” the two federal police officers yelled, using a derogatory Arabic term for Islamic State.

One of the policemen held a black-handled knife with a four-to-five-inch blade. The other gripped a folding knife, with a three-inch blade and a brown handle.

They waved their knives in the air, to cheers from the crowd, and chanted: “We will slaughter him. We will take revenge for Colonel Imad. We will slaughter him”…

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