The terrorist group Islamic State (ISIS) has released photos showing the execution of three men in Sirte, Libya, and the whipping of others for drinking alcohol.
Militants said the men were killed for banditry, blasphemy and apostasy, according to Daily Mail.
They were shot in front of a crowd of masked men, who gathered to watch the executions.
One of the men was accused of converting from Islam and another of being a member of a militia hostile to ISIS. The third victim allegedly cursed god.
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The images came from the Libyan city of Sirte, which ISIS took control of in the last few months of 2015. The militants also hold a significant section of coastline on the Mediterranean Sea.
“From the start, Islamic State has vowed to take its fight globally, but until recently it has been focused on managing its caliphate in Iraq and Syria,” Michael Kugelman of the Woodrow Wilson Center told Daily Mail.
However, Kugelman questioned the amount of direction the group in Sirte, which is estimated to contain around 3,000 fighters, is receiving from ISIS’s stronghold in Iraq and Syria.
“What you have here are disillusioned, alienated militants, who have been fighting with a different [organization], who are interested in identifying themselves with a more dynamic cause," he added. :And they see ISIS as a very dynamic cause -- they are in the media all the time and commit spectacularly brutal attacks."
The ISIS affiliate is seeking to expand the area around Sirte under its control. The group launched an attack on a nearby port and oil storage facility Jan. 20, RT reported.
The militants set fire to tanks at Ras Lanuf and also launched an offensive to take control of an oil pipeline. Ras Lanuf is one of Libya’s largest oil terminals.
Libya has been gripped by civil war over the last few months of 2015. A new unity government was established Jan. 19 with the aim of bringing the conflict to an end and tackling the expansion of ISIS, The Guardian reported.
The new government is backed by the United Nations. Britain, France and the United States have raised the possibility of launching air strikes against ISIS positions in Libya if the country's government requests them to do so.