An Iraqi man inspects debris at the aftermath of a car bomb explosion in Baghdad on January 21, 2014. AFP PHOTO/AHMAD AL-RUBAYE
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Iraq on Tuesday announced the execution of 26 men convicted of "terrorism", including a high-profile anti-Qaeda militia commander whose arrest in 2009 prompted fierce street battles in Baghdad.The executions come despite widespread international condemnation of Iraq's use of capital punishment, and were announced barely a week after Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki publicly rebuked Ban Ki-moon over the UN chief's call for a moratorium. Iraq executed at least 169 people last year, according to an AFP tally based on statements from the justice ministry and reports from officials.The Sahwa, or Awakening, is a Sunni Arab tribal militia that sided with US forces against their co-religionists in Al-Qaeda from late-2006 onwards, a key factor in helping turn the tide of Iraq's insurgency.
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