Iraqi insurgents are committing war crimes that undermine any claim they may have to be fighting a legitimate cause, Amnesty International says.
A report by the UK-based group accuses anti-US forces in Iraq of showing “utter disdain for civilian life”.
It says there can be no justification for deliberate killings of civilians, hostage-taking and torture.
The perpetrators “place themselves totally beyond the pale of acceptable behaviour”, Amnesty International said.
“There is no honour nor heroism in blowing up people going to pray or murdering a terrified hostage,” the 56-page report entitled Iraq, In Cold Blood: Abuses by Armed Groups says.
“Those carrying out such acts are criminals, nothing less, whose actions undermine any claim they may have to be pursuing a legitimate cause.”