Libya: ISIS take 6-year-olds to watch beheading

ISIS captured the city of Derna in October of last year.Reuters

Children as young as six years old were told to look on as a man was beheaded by an ISIS militant, new pictures from the jihadist group reveal.

Two images have emerged showing a group of children watching as a captive, named as Abdulnabi Shurgawi, is brutally executed in the northern city of Derna in Libya. Islamic State captured the city in October of last year.

Following his beheading, Shurgawi's head is held aloft for the children to see. According to reports, ISIS said they were told to watch "for education purposes".

The Libyan Herald, which first reported the incident, says that the execution took place outside Derna's Ateeq Mosque, which has previously been the site of murders by the jihadist group. Shurgawi was allegedly a volunteer soldier with Libya's national army, and was beheaded for apostasy.

A cartoon began circulating on social media in Libya following the release of the images. It is captioned "Derna and the future of her children".

ISIS has been internationally condemned for its brutality, and has released several images and videos showing the beheading of captives. Derna has a history of radical Islam. According to CNN, the city provided more foreign fighters per capita to al Quaeda in Iraq than any other town in the Middle East in addition to "scores of fighters for ISIS in Syria."

Earlier this year, Egypt began conducting airstrikes in Libya following the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians in the country by ISIS militants. However, ISIS has now captured several areas, mostly in the east of Libya. Its proximity to Europe is believed to be one of its major attractions to jihadists.