Tribal and security sources have accused Shia militias loyal to Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki of kidnapping 28 Sunni prisoners from a jail in Salahuddin province, Anadolu news agency has reported. The militias belong to the so-called “League of the Righteous”.
Sheikh Ghazwan Khazraji of the Khazraj tribe told Anadolu that members of the league stormed the prison in the town of Al-Balda on Saturday and detained the guards before kidnapping 28 Sunni prisoners. Police sources in the town confirmed Khazraji’s story.
The kidnap victims are believed to have been killed for sectarian reasons, but this is still uncertain. There are no independent confirmations of the report and the Iraqi government has not commented on the issue.
It is widely feared in Iraq that the country is slipping into a sectarian war due to the ongoing unrest, which has seen groups of armed Sunni fighters led by the Islamic State in Iraq and As-Sham (ISIS) militants who control cities and provinces across the country. Shiite leaders have called for volunteers to fight against ISIS.