Two Turkish soldiers who were abducted by the Islamic State group (ISIS) have been burned alive in a propaganda video released on Thursday, prompting the Turkish government to restrict access to social media websites.
The 19-minute video starts with a previously-released audio tape from Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who has called for attacks on Turkish troops and urged his fighters to invade the country, labeling Turkey an “apostate”.
Towards the end of the video, two Turkish soldiers are shown being held captive in a cage with large chains around their neck. They are then forced to crawl on their knees before a separate shot shows them standing while chained as a trial of fire slowly moves towards them and engulfs them in flames.
One of the soldiers is believed to be Sefer Taş (also known as Sefter Taş), who was abducted in southern Turkey in September 2015. The abduction happened in Kilis province during a clash between ISIS-affiliated smugglers and Turkish security forces.
The second soldier is believed to be one of two soldiers who were abducted in a village near al-Bab in Aleppo province on November 29. The status of the other soldier is unknown and was not mentioned in Thursday’s video release.
About an hour after the video’s release, monitoring network Turkey Blocks reported throttling of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Internet users across Turkey reported that they were having trouble accessing the websites, though the sites were not completely blocked.
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