The self-proclaimed Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has executed two more men accused of being gay by throwing them from the top of a tower, according to London newspaper, The Independent.
The executions were part of an onslaught of ISIS killings last week, which also included women who were stoned to death for alleged adultery, as well as two accused thieves who were crucified, then shot to death.
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told The Independent that the killings may have been in response to recent assassinations of ISIS leadership by coalition forces. ISIS may be trying to reassert its perception as having power among the populations ISIS dominates, despite recent setbacks on the battlefield.
U.K. publication Pink News published images of large crowds that apparently gathered to watch the executions of the allegedly gay men. Although Pink News said that the size of the crowds that gathered to see the deaths of the men were nearly as shocking as the deaths themselves, it may be worth noting that it is not unheard of for militants to force people to witness such executions.
The executions were reportedly carried out separately on or about last Thursday in the ISIS-controlled Iraqi town of Nineveh.
In early December, ISIS killed another allegedly gay man by throwing him from a rooftop in another town along the Iraq-Syria border. In November, two other men were killed by the militant insurgency group for allegedly being gay. Those were reportedly the first public executions for the "crime" of homosexuality.