A video compilation made of photos of a man's hand being chopped in Syria, as a punishment for stealing, has gone viral on YouTube.
These images from the Maskanah, a town in northern Syria, were first posted on Twitter but were removed, as the content was found to be too graphic and shocking. The photos were posted on the account @reyadriraq, which subsequently was deleted by Twitter officials.
According to NYDaily, the series of tweets appeared on the account of a supporter of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) - a militant group whose methods are too violent and extreme, even for Al Qaeda.
In tweets, which have now gone viral through the video, @reyadriraq first posted a photograph of a blindfolded man, in the midst of a huge crowd, comprising of old men and children, standing along with a few masked men wielding swords.
The caption of one of the pictures stated that the blindfolded man is a thief, who had asked to have his hand cut off "in order to cleanse his sins". The second picture shows the sword is about to strike the hand, while a burly fighter restrains the victim. In the last picture, which is too gory and graphic, the blindfolded man is seen passed out on the table, while his severed hand is lying there.
The incident created quite a furore on Twitter, and the international media took up the story soon.
Washington Post in its report noted that ISIS evolved from the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq, which the US forces battled to contain, before they withdrew in 2011.
The group's attempts to impose strict interpretations of the Islamic law on the parts of rebel-held northern Syria under its control have earned it many enemies, including the mainstream Free Syrian Army fighters and Jabhat al-Nusra, Al Qaeda's official Syrian affiliate.