February 25, 2008 / 5:49 AM / 10 years ago

Militant video shows 12 Nepalese killed in Iraq

DUBAI (Reuters) - An Iraqi militant group posted a video on the Internet on Monday showing the killings of 12 Nepalese men who it said worked for a Nepalese company with a U.S. contract.

In the video, from an Islamist group called the Army of Ansar al-Sunna, a militant beheaded one of the men with a knife. The rest were shot in the back lying face down in a sandy lot.

There was no information as to when the killings took place. The footage was similar to a video and pictures posted in 2004, when an Iraqi militant group killed 12 Nepali hostages who had gone to Iraq to work as cooks and cleaners for a Jordanian firm.

Those images also showed a militant beheading one man and the others being shot in the back by an automatic weapon.

“After investigating their identities and their destinations, we have, with grace from God the Almighty, implemented God’s ruling against them,” the militant group said in an on-screen message in the posting on Monday.

Neither Iraqi police nor U.S. officials in Baghdad had any immediate information the incident.

At the time of the 2004 killings, an estimated 200,000 Nepalis worked as labourers, drivers, guards, cleaners and cooks in Iraq, even though poor Nepal did not allow its nationals to travel or work in there because of security concerns.

The killing of foreign contractors by militants in Iraq has declined, matching overall falls in violence.

Reporting by Inal Ersan; Editing by Michael Winfrey

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