An Iraqi Yazidi refugee pours water on himself as he took refuge in Syria.
An Iraqi Yazidi refugee pours water on himself as he took refuge in Syria.

Baquba (Iraq) : Jihadist fighters blew up a Shiite prayer hall in the Iraqi town of Jalawla on Friday and publicly executed the muezzin, witnesses and a regional police chief said, reports AFP. Islamic State (IS) fighters detained the muezzin, who calls for Muslim prayers, and blew up the Jalawla husseiniyah, a term used for a Shiite place of worship.

“Then they shot him dead in front of his mosque,” said the police official for Diyala province, northeast of Baghdad.

Witnesses confirmed the execution, which came four days after IS militants wrested control of the town from Kurdish peshmerga forces following two days of deadly fighting. In Sayed Ahmad village north of Jalawla, IS fighters also executed six policemen, the same sources said. Kurdish forces lost at least 10 fighters in the battle for Jalawla, a strategic choke-point.

Sunni tribes take up arms against jihadists: Members of more than 25 prominent Sunni tribes took up arms against jihadists and their allies west of the Iraqi capital on Friday, a tribal leader and officers said.

The uprising in Anbar province, where jihadists from the Islamic State (IS) group and insurgent allies hold major areas, came a day after Nuri al-Maliki, the incumbent premier who is widely reviled by Iraqi Sunni Arabs, abandoned his bid for a third term. The current effort could potentially be a major turning point in Iraq’s conflict against an IS-led offensive.

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