BAGHDAD, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- An Iraqi court on Thursday sentenced 14 terrorists to death over the mass killings of about 1,700 soldiers when the Islamic State (IS) militants seized Tikrit, the capital of Salahudin province, in 2014.
"The Central Criminal Court issued a verdict to execute the 14 terrorist criminals after establishing that they were involved in the Speicher massacre," the Iraqi Supreme Judicial Council said in a statement.
In June 2014, armed Sunni insurgents, spearheaded by IS group, launched a surprise offensive on Iraqi security forces and captured a large part of the country's northern and western territories after government troops abandoned their posts and military equipment.
Reports said that some 1,700 soldiers who walked out of an air base, known as Camp Speicher north of Tikrit, were abducted and killed by the extremist IS militants.
IS group later posted videos and photos showing its militants loading dozens of soldiers onto trucks, forcing them to lie face down and opening fire on them.
Some were shown being dragged to the edge of the Tigris River and thrown into the water after being shot in the heads.