Islamic State militants reportedly have burned to death 45 people in the western Iraqi town of al-Baghdadi on Tuesday, just five miles away from an air base staffed by hundreds of U.S. Marines.
The identities of the victims are not clear, the local police chief told BBC, some of them are believed to be among the security forces that have been clashing with ISIS for control of the town. ISIS fighters reportedly captured most of the town last week, according to barracudabrigade.net.
Col. Qasim Obeidi, pleading for help from the Iraqi government and international community, said a compound that houses families of security personnel and officials is now under siege.
The reports come days after ISIS released a video purportedly showing the beheadings of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians along a beach in Libya, sparking an international outcry, including commendation from Pope Francis, who called the killings “barbaric.” More.