Blindfolded and bound, his knees pressing into the dirt, Imad resigned himself to what seemed inevitable: He was going to die.

Islamic State gunmen had driven him and about 90 other former Iraqi police and army officers to a remote industrial area on the edge of Hamam al-Alil, 10 miles south of Mosul, after rounding them up from their villages last month.

Iraqi security forces were approaching, and the militants were losing their grip on the area.

Packed into two pickup trucks and a bus, the men were told they were being taken to see their families, but they were instead slated for execution.

Imad’s truck was the first to be unloaded, and he was the first in line. A militant took him by the arm.

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