ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A young Iraqi male living in Syria's al-Hol Camp has died from injuries sustained while being beaten in his sleep by two alleged Islamic State members also residing at the massive displacement facility.
"Two people disguised as women struck him on the head with a sharp object while he was sleeping in his tent last night," said a media source close to local officials in charge of the camp.
The youth, Mohammad Shehadeh Hamada, was critically injured in the initial attack and then taken to a hospital in the nearby city of Hasakah, where he died Thursday morning of his wounds.
According to comments made by officials in the camp administration, Hamada was killed for not accepting the extremist ideology adopted by the Islamic State, thought to be shared by a large portion of the camp's inhabitants.
On Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that a 14-year-old girl at al-Hol Camp was killed after her neck was broken while being beaten and strangled. Shortly before the attack, the girl, who had previously lived under Islamic State rule, had apparently angered other camp residents because "she suggested dispensing with her black niqab, the face covering worn by ultraconservative Muslim women."
There are also other suspected such killings, including the recent death of a pregnant Indonesian national. The Post wrote that she "was murdered, medical officials say, apparently after speaking to a Western media organization. Images of her body suggest she might have been whipped."
The was built to house 40,000 individuals but currently holds over 72,000, mostly women and children. Among them are roughly 30,000 Iraqis. It witnessed a sharp increase in numbers of residents as the US-backed and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) launched an offensive to defeat the Islamic State in its last bastion of Baghouz, which ended in March.
There is little agreement on what to do with the camp's residents. Many nations, notably European Union member states, have shown great reluctance to take back their own nationals now at the camp because of fears that they would pose a security threat.
The local self-administration has called on countries to take back their citizens and said that it is ready to facilitate the transit of women and children to their home countries.
"The administration and the Syrian people demand of the states from which these ISIS fighters belong, more than 50 nationalities in all, to judge them according to their constitutions," one official told Kurdistan 24 in April.
Editing by John J. Catherine