A member of an activist group reporting on Islamic State (IS) abuses and his friend have been found shot and beheaded in southern Turkey, colleagues said today.
Citizen journalist collective Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS) said on Friday that one of its number, Ibrahim Abdul-Qadir, and Fares Hamadi had been found "slaughtered" in the city of Sanliurfa. It added that IS had claimed responsibility for the murders.
Abdul-Qadir, who was born in 1998, and his friend Hamadi — who had resigned from the group last year due of the dangers of the work — were found dead in their apartment on Friday morning, according to Reuters.
"This morning they found them in their apartment. First they shot them in the head and then they cut their heads off," Abu Ibrahim Raqqawi, the 23-year-old founder of the group, said.
He added that said the violence will not stop his group: "We will never stop — we will continue. They have killed a lot of our guys from the beginning. But we will not stop."
RBSS has reported from Raqqa since IS overran the town in April 2014 and declared it the capital of their self-proclaimed caliphate.
Journalists are unable to operate from within IS territory, but the group — working anonymously for their own safety — has continued to release reports as well as covertly shot images and video, providing information on beheadings, crucifixions and other atrocities.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) recognized the group in its 2015 International Press Freedom awards, describing it as "one of the few reliable and independent sources of news left" in the town. CPJ said Friday that it was "devastated" by Abdul-Qadir's death.
IS have made numerous attempts to stop RBSS, its members say, and has already kidnapped and killed at least one — correspondent Al-Moutaz Bellah Ibrahim.
The jihadists have been increasingly active inside Turkey, and are thought to have carried out a suicide attack on Kurdish activists in Suruc, near Sanliurfa in July, and a double bombing at a peace rally in the capital of Ankara this month that killed 102 people.
Turkey has taken a more prominent role in the international fight against IS in recent months, but the group had previously been able to bring weapons and fighters into its territory through its porous borders and smuggle oil out on a fairly large scale.
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