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Satellite images back up claims that Islamic militants massacred between 160 and 190 men in Tikrit earlier this month, Human Rights Watch has claimed - reported the SkyNews.
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 onto 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.
On June 22, Iraq’s human rights minister confirmed that ISIS had executed 175 Iraqi Air Force recruits in Tikrit.