BAGHDAD – Islamic State militants moved on Saturday to stamp out dissent in a remote western Iraqi town, detaining at least 70 and tying dozens of residents, including tribal leaders, to streetlight poles as a punishment, security officials said.
The crackdown followed a rare street demonstration on Saturday to protest the extremist group’s execution of a local resident, they said. The protest by hundreds of residents in Rutbah, in Anbar province, was triggered by the execution earlier on Saturday of Munir al-Kobeisi, a civil servant, for killing an IS member. The killing was part of a long-running blood feud between two local clans.
Eid Amash, a spokesman for Anbar’s provincial government, confirmed al-Kobeisi’s execution and the subsequent protest.
Relying on sketchy information from Rutbah, in Iraq’s far west near the Jordanian border, the officials said they didn’t know the whereabouts of the detained residents. The militants, they said, tied two residents to each light pole and that the town was gripped by fears that the group would carry out mass executions.