Thursday, 4 September 2014
Escaping Death in Northern Iraq - NYTimes.com
A truly fascinating story from Iraq. Read it here http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/09/04/world/middleeast/surviving-isis-massacre-iraq-video.html
Here's an extract
Ali Hussein Kadhim, an Iraqi soldier and a Shiite, was captured with hundreds of other soldiers by Sunni militants in June and taken to the grounds of a palace complex in Tikrit where Saddam Hussein once lived.
The militants, with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, separated the men by sect. The Sunnis were allowed to repent for their service to the government. The Shiites were marked for death, and lined up in groups.
Mr. Kadhim was No. 4 in his line.
As the firing squad shot the first man, blood spurted onto Mr. Kadhim's face. He remembered seeing a video camera in the hands of another militant.
"I saw my daughter in my mind, saying, 'Father, father,' " he said.
He felt a bullet pass by his head, and fell forward into the freshly dug trench.
"I just pretended to be shot," he said.
A few moments later, Mr. Kadhim said, one of the killers walked among the bodies and saw that one man who had been shot was still breathing.
"Just let him suffer," another militant said. "He's an infidel Shia. Let him suffer. Let him bleed."
"At that point," Mr. Kadhim said, "I had a great will to live."
He waited about four hours, he said, until it was dark and there was only silence. About 200 yards away was the edge of the Tigris River.
He made it to the riverbank, where the reeds gave him some cover. There, he met an injured man named Abbas, a driver at Camp Speicher who had been shot by militants and shoved into the river.
Horrific and I remember similar stories from WW2 of people surviving similar ethnic cleansing atrocities by the Nazis by feigning death.