The Islamic State, which has killed the 39 Indians it abducted in Mosul in Iraq, has killed thousands of civilians, at times in the most brutal manner. Most of its victims, ironically, have been Muslims.

The terrorist group, now facing the wrath of many countries, has beheaded, crucified, immolated or simply gunned down people it considers “criminals” or “infidels” or “enemies” or “spies”.

Such is the group’s notoriety that it frequently releases chilling videos showing the way it kills — partly to inject fear into enemy ranks and to prevent desertions.

According to one published account, UN reports say that by June 2014, the IS had killed hundreds of prisoners of war and over 1,000 civilians. Experts say the figure has risen since then.

Some 250 Syrian Army soldiers were massacred near the Tabqa Air base and many, many more Iraqi soldiers were brutally done to death or went missing after the group captured large areas of Iraq.

It is also said to have beheaded about 100 foreign fighters as deserters. A Jordanian Air Force pilot whose F-16 crashed in December 2014 during a military intervention was captured and burned to death while trapped inside a cage.

The Islamic State has targeted religious and minority groups including Yazidis — the UN puts the number of Yazidi victims at 5,000 — and Shia Turkmen.

The IS has also tortured and murdered journalists and aid workers.

They have included James Wright Foley, an American freelance journalist, Steven Joel Sotloff, an Israeli-American journalist, Tunisian journalists Sofiene Chourabi and Nadhir Ktari, Japanese journalist Kenji Goto Jogo, and aid workers David Haines, Herve Gourdel, Alan Henning and Peter Edward Kassig.