An Iraqi court sentenced 40 defendants to death, over charges of killing 1,700 soldiers, when Daesh militants seized Tikrit in Jun, 2014, judicial spokesman, said.

"The Central Criminal Court issued a verdict to execute 27 defendants, after proving they were involved in the Speicher massacre," said Abdul Sattar al-Biraqdar, spokesman for Iraq's Supreme Judicial Council.

The defendants were found guilty, as the evidences were enough for their conviction, Biraqdar said, adding that, the court also released 25 other defendants for lack of evidence.

Biraqdar said, the death sentences are preliminary and subject to reviewing by the Court of Cassation.

In Jun, 2014, armed Sunni insurgents, spearheaded by the Daesh group, an al-Qaeda offshoot, 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, among the thousands of soldiers who abandoned their posts, some 1,700 soldiers, who walked out of an air base, known as Camp Speicher north of Tikrit, the capital of Salahudin province, were abducted and killed by the extremist militants.

The group later posted video tapes and images, showing its gunmen loading dozens of soldiers in many trucks and forced them to lay on their faces and opened fire on them

Source: NAM News Network