WARNING: THIS REPORT CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES, READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.
Graphic images purporting to show two men crucified by Islamist extremists in Syria are circulating online.
The men were reportedly crucified in Raqqa on Tuesday by members of a faction so extreme it has been disavowed by Al Qaeda.
AFP reports the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) admitted executing seven people on charges of a grenade attack said to have killed a child and maimed a man, crucifying two of them.
The men were reportedly crucified on Tuesday in Raqqa
The images – released by the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights - show the men blindfolded and tied to makeshift crosses erected on a traffic roundabout.
It is unclear if the bloodied men were killed first and then strung up, or if their deaths occurred afterwards.
According to AFP’s translation, a banner around one of the slain men reads: “This man fought against Muslims and threw a grenade in this place.”
Abu Ibrahim Alrquaoui, the founder of a group called Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, told Fox News he was present at the executions and took the images himself.
Claiming the men killed were rebels who had previously fought against the Syrian government of President Bashar Al-Assad he said: “It’s very dangerous. They threaten us directly and want to kill us.”
The killings were apparently in retaliation for a grenade attack
Last month a shocking video purportedly showing a crucifixion in the same city emerged, following a Sharia trial.
Blindfolded, shot in the head and strung up on a crucifix to a baying mob, the body of the unidentified man was paraded in a Syrian town square.
People can be seen queuing up to take pictures and videos on their mobile phones.
The man had been accused of "purposefully killing a Muslim to take his money," according to reports, during an alleged trial, apparently set up by ISIS.
In February an Al Qaeda spokesman issued a statement disavowing itself from ISIS.
A little boy gazes up at one of the bodies
It said: "ISIS is not a branch of the Qaidat al-Jihad [Al-Qaeda's official name] group, we have no organisational relationship with it, and the group is not responsible for its actions."
The statement was reported by Aaron Y Zelin, a jihadist watcher The Washington Institute, who points out it is the first time in Al Qaeda’s history that the group has publicly disaffiliated itself with a group bearing its name.
In January the jihadist group was accused of creating “scenes of medieval violence” after it was alleged to have beheaded ten men and mounted their heads on spikes.
The incident occurred during a bloody day of fighting which saw them take control of the northern border town of Jarabulus.
Factions continue to battle amidst the insurgency against President Al-Assad, which has seen more than 100,000 killed and millions made homeless since the first peaceful demonstrations against the Syrian regime in 2011.
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