Militants post video of killing of 5 Iraqi guards
The group claimed a tie to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Published: Sunday, January 2, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 1, 2005 at 10:18 p.m.
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Insurgents belonging to a group led by the Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi posted a videotape on the Internet on Saturday showing five men being killed because they served in the Iraqi security forces. In the videotape, the militants warned other Iraqis that they would meet the same fate if they joined the Iraqi police or national guard.
"To the families of civil defense, Iraqi national guard and the Iraqi police, say your final farewell to your sons before sending them to us," a masked man said, reading a statement as he stood over the five captives. The reward for them would be "slaughter, slaughter, slaughter," the man said.
Insurgents have waged relentless attacks on Iraqi forces for being allied with the Americans and the interim government of Prime Minister Ayad Allawi. The latest was on Friday, when five national guardsmen were wounded by a car bomb that had apparently been aimed at their vehicle but instead killed two civilians.
Credits on the videotape said it had been made by a branch of al-Qaeda in Iraq based in Ramadi and led by al-Zarqawi. "Presenting: Confessions and Implementation of God's Judgment on the American Dogs," the written credits said.
The videotape showed five men in civilian clothes sitting in the dirt while five masked men, some of them armed, stood over them.
The camera focused on one of the captives, who gave his name and said that he had been assigned to the Jordanian-Iraqi border to prevent "the terrorists from entering Iraq, those who sabotage the country."
Later, the tape showed the five captives standing in a deserted city street next to the curb. Their heads were bowed and their hands tied behind them. Men with handguns then repeatedly shot them in their backs. "Use the rifle!" someone exclaimed off-camera.
U.S. military commanders and Iraqi officials have said they expect violence to increase before elections for the Iraq National Assembly set for Jan. 30.
In addition to the attacks on Iraqi security forces, some officials preparing for the elections have been assassinated, and polling stations have been attacked.
Some Iraqi leaders have questioned whether the voting can take place as scheduled, given the violence and threats by al-Zarqawi's group and other militants. Iraqis would have to defy these threats to vote at polling stations. Although Iraqi forces are being trained by the U.S. military to protect the stations, some officials question whether there will be enough of them to ensure safety.
In Falluja, in particular, the practical aspects of any vote are being questioned. In November, U.S. forces invaded the city to wipe out guerrillas, but Falluja is still attacked by insurgents periodically. Much of the city is in ruins, and only a trickle of displaced residents are returning.
"I will take part in elections only if there is a fair government that says to the occupier, 'We will not let you slaughter our people,"' said Jamal Daham, 43, after he returned to his house in Falluja late last week.
Many groups of Sunni Arabs, who dominated Iraq under Saddam Hussein, say they will not take part in the elections, while Shiites see the balloting as a way of turning their majority into an opportunity for political power.
In Najaf, a police official, Lt. Galib al-Jazaery, said Saturday that the force had detained 11 armed men, three of whom were carrying Saudi identity cards. He described them as infiltrators and said they were being questioned.
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