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ISIS burns pile of ‘haram’ cigarettes in Iraq

A picture posted to Twitter last week shows a pile of cigarette packs and boxes going up in flames

Published: Updated:

Jihadist insurgents in Iraq have purportedly begun enforcing their opinions on the ills of smoking by burning a pile of cigarettes, as seen in a photo that is making the rounds on social media.

The UK-based Daily Mail reported on Thursday that the group claims cigarettes are forbidden by sharia law

A picture posted to Twitter last week shows a pile of cigarette packs and boxes going up in flames. Near the pile stands a jihadist, with his weapon raised in apparent celebration.

The photo was posted on Twitter from account thought to belong to a Turkish extremist, who had posted numerous pictures of jihadists and skirmishes in Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city seized by the extremist group last week.

The caption posted with the image claimed that the burning cigarettes were “smuggled.”

Behind the man in the picture appeared the back of another one, dressed in army uniform and carrying an unidentified box, along with a number of unidentified faces in the background.

The practice of burning down cigarettes is not uncommon among ISIS militants. Pictures of similar "cigarette-burning" ceremonies in Syria's Raqqa were previously posted on social media.

syria courtesy syria obsevatory
syria courtesy syria obsevatory

The government of Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been fighting the insurgency since last week, but has been unable to effectively regain many areas lost to ISIS militants and local armed men.

Maliki’s government armed thousands of civilians who volunteered to fight the militants. Meanwhile, it awaits a U.S. response to an appeal for air strikes to beat back the militants who are nearing the capital of Baghdad.

President Barack Obama is expected to discuss U.S. options for responding to the crumbling security situation in Iraq with his national security team Thursday, according to The Associated Press.