Iraq Executes Al-Qaeda Members

Iraq’s Justice Ministry says 14 Iraqis — most of them members of Al-Qaeda — have been executed for terrorism and criminal offenses.

The executions on February 8 bring to at least 65 the number of executions carried out by Iraq’s government so far this year.

Justice Ministry spokesman Haider al-Saadi says those executed included a leading militant in the Islamic State of Iraq, an Al-Qaeda front group in Iraq.

The group has claimed responsibility for bombings and attacks in Baghdad that have killed more than 500 people since October of 2009 and left more than 1,500 injured.

The incidents included the June 2010 bombing of Iraq’s Central Bank and an attack on Baghdad’s Syriac Catholic Cathedral that left 58 dead.

The UN’s high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, has called the number of executions in Iraq “terrifying.”