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ISIS Massacre: Tikrit Satellite Images Emerge
Satellite images back up claims that Islamic militants massacred between 160 and 190 men in Tikrit earlier this month, Human Rights Watch has claimed.
The organisation says it has analysed photographs and satellite images that appear to show bodies in the city - seized by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighters at the start of their offensive in Iraq.
HRW says the killings were likely to have taken place in at least two locations between June 11 and 14 - and the real number of dead could be much higher.
ISIS claimed to have killed 1,700 "Shia members of the army" in Tikrit on June 12 and two days later posted around 60 photos online apparently showing how the men were executed.
The gruesome images showed masked ISIS fighters loading captives in civilian clothes on to trucks and forcing them to lie in three shallow trenches with their hands tied behind their backs.
Further photos showed gunmen firing at the captives and the blood-covered bodies of the victims after they were shot.
By comparing the pictures with satellite images from 2013 and publicly available photos, HRW established that two of the trenches were in a field around 100m north of the city's Water Palace - formerly used by Saddam Hussein - on the banks of the Tigris River.
On June 22, Iraq's human rights minister confirmed that ISIS had executed 175 Iraqi Air Force recruits in Tikrit.
HRW's emergencies director Peter Bouckaert said: "The photos and satellite images from Tikrit provide strong evidence of a horrible war crime that needs further investigation."
The group said it had been impossible to carry out a full investigation due to the difficulty of accessing the area and locating bodies.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International has revealed it has gathered evidence pointing to a pattern of extrajudicial executions by government forces and Shia militias in three Iraqi cities.
Surviving detainees and relatives of those killed gave graphic accounts that suggest Iraqi forces carried out a series of vengeful attacks against Sunni detainees before withdrawing from Tal Afar and Mosul in northern Iraq - both now controlled by ISIS.
And the mayor of Baquba, Abdallah al Hayali, told Amnesty his 21-year-old nephew was among up to 50 people killed by members of a Shia militia in the city on June 16.
The evidence emerged as Foreign Secretary William Hague arrived in Irbil in northern Iraq to meet leaders.