CAIRO, Egypt – Al Qaeda-linked insurgents released a videotape Thursday showing the execution-style deaths of 14 Iraqi soldiers and policemen after the expiration of a 72-hour deadline for the Iraqi government to meet their demands.
In a statement that preceded the video footage, the Islamic State of Iraq said its religious court "ruled that God's verdict should be implemented against the renegades" after its demands were not met.
The group posted a separate video on Tuesday showing 14 captive members of the Iraqi security forces in uniform and threatened to kill them in 72 hours if its demands were not met, including the release of all female prisoners in Iraqi prisons.
The 14 hostages, in their same uniforms, were shown in the second videotape kneeling on the ground in a single line, blindfolded, with their hands tied behind their backs.
An unidentified insurgent wearing a ski mask shot the men one by one in the back of the head from close range, causing them to tumble to the ground.
The killings took place in what looked like a rural area, with a grass field and several tall eucalyptus trees. A small wooden shack stood in the background.
The authenticity of the one and a half minute video could not be verified, but it appeared on a Web site commonly used by Islamic militants and carried the logo of the Islamic State of Iraq's media production wing, al-Furqan.