Grisly new images posted online appear to show two men hanging crucifixion-style on crosses in Raqqa, a Syrian city in which jihadi rebels have been trying to enforce strict Islamic rule.
The French news agency AFP reported that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) announced on Tuesday that it had executed seven prisoners, two of them by crucifixion.
This undated file image posted on a militant website on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014 shows fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) marching in Raqqa, Syria. Once a vibrant, mixed city considered a bastion of support for President Bashar Assad, the eastern city of Raqqa is now a shell of its former life, transformed by militants into the nucleus of the terror group's version of an Islamic caliphate they hope one day to establish in Syria and Iraq. In rare interviews with The Associated Press, residents and activists in Raqqa describe a city where fear prevails, music has been banned, Christians have to pay religious tax in return for protection and face-veiled women and pistol-wielding men in jihadi uniforms patrol the streets. (AP Photo/militant website, File)
Photos purporting to show the two men bleeding and hanging on the cross were posted on various Facebook and Twitter accounts. Blogger Brown Moses who follows developments in Syria closely retweeted these images (we've blurred the images):
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also released a photo of the men who had reportedly been publicly crucified.
It is unclear if the men were first killed and then tied onto the cross-shaped structure or if they were killed after being tied up. One of the men appeared to be hanging on the pole of a street sign with a horizontal wooden beam attached.
As with most images emerging from the Syrian civil war, now in its fourth year, TheBlaze is unable to independently authenticate the photos.
According to AFP, ISIL accused the men whom it executed of carrying out a grenade attack against one of the group’s militants earlier this month.
"Ten days ago, attackers on a motorbike threw a grenade at an ISIL fighter at the Naim roundabout. A Muslim civilian had his leg blown off and a child was killed," ISIL said via Twitter according to AFP. "Our fighters immediately set up a roadblock and succeeded in capturing them."
According to AFP’s translation, a banner around one of the slain men proclaimed, "This man fought against Muslims and threw a grenade in this place."
Earlier this year, Christians in Raqqa were told by the hardline rebels that they would have to begin paying a protection tax. Their freedom of worship was also drastically curbed by ISIL, which said they would no longer be allowed to renovate churches, display religious symbols outside churches, pray in public, ring church bells, sell wine to Muslims or drink wine in public.
The Observatory noted that ISIL had killed a man on April 16 for stealing from a Muslim in the same manner.