Iraq executes 11 people for Al-Askari shrine bombing
BAGHDAD - Iraq has executed a Tunisian man convicted of involvement in a 2006 attack on a revered Shiite shrine that unleashed a wave of sectarian bloodshed, a justice ministry spokesman said on Thursday.
The ministry "executed 11 people on Wednesday, including a Tunisian convicted of involvement in the bombing of Al-Askari shrine in Samarra in 2006," the spokesman said, asking to have his name withheld.
The 11, who also included an Egyptian and nine Iraqis, among them a woman, were all convicted of terrorism offences, the spokesman said.
The Tunisian, 27-year-old Yusri al-Tariki, had been detained in Iraq since 2006, after travelling to the country in 2003 to participate in the insurgency against US forces, his father Fakher al-Tariki said.
He was condemned to death in Iraq for involvement in the killings of "hundreds" of Americans and Iraqis, including a journalist from the Al-Arabiya satellite station, as well as the Samarra shrine attack.
His father said his son was tortured and forced to implicate himself.
Tunisia's interim president, Fouad Mebazaa, had appealed to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani in a November 10 message to pardon Tariki.
The 2006 bombing of the gold-domed shrine of revered ninth-century imam Hassan al-Askari, which draws pilgrims from Iraq and around the world, unleashed the worst sectarian violence in the history of Iraq, in which tens of thousands were killed.