Twenty-six people convicted of terrorism-related crimes were executed in Iraq two days ago, the Iraqi Justice Ministry confirmed in a statement Tuesday.
One of those executed was Adel al-Mashhadani, a militia leader in Baghdad who was "famous for sectarian crimes," the statement said. He was a member of the Awakening, the Sunni tribal fighting force who fought alongside the United States against al Qaeda militants.
Iraq has been engulfed in violence for many months. The United Nations said 2013 was the deadliest year in Iraq since 2008, with almost 8,000 people killed in violence, most of them civilians.
Fears of all-out sectarian war have increased since fighting broke out recently to the west of Baghdad in Anbar province, where al Qaeda-backed militants and Iraq's security forces have been battling for control of Falluja and Ramadi.