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06 November 2004

Beheadings on the Rise

Beheadings on the Rise Around the World
By LOUIS MEIXLER, Associated Press Writer

ANKARA, Turkey - It was called "Operation Baghdad" and, to be sure, the headless bodies of the three police officers recalled the violence in that city. But these attacks happened in Haiti, not in Iraq The brutal beheadings in Iraq appear to have inspired militants in other parts of the world who are drawn to the shock value of the horrifying attacks and the intense publicity they attract. Thailand and the Netherlands are two other countries where suspected extremists recently beheaded or slit the throats of their victims in what appear to be copycat attacks. Rime Allaf, associate fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, said beheadings are spreading because the practice "has so horrified us in the West." "It achieves results and it makes the headlines," Allaf added. "People are talking about groups that we've never heard about before." The horrifying tactic has spread as far as the Caribbean island nation of Haiti, where loyalists of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide seized on the Iraqi beheadings as a symbol of strength and intimidation. The headless bodies of three police officers were found in Port-au-Prince early last month, and authorities said the militants had launched a terror campaign called "Operation Baghdad."

The veneer of civilisation crumbles, the animal returns...

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