KAHN AL BAGHDADI, Iraq, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Islamic State militants burned alive at least 40 people in the Iraqi town of Kahn al Baghdadi, the police chief said.
Between 40 and 45 people were killed by the jihadist militants, Col. Qasim al-Obeidi told the BBC.
Anbar provincial council chairman Sabah Karkhout told CNN those who were killed were police officers and local tribesmen. Why they were killed was unclear.
A compound that houses the families of local officials in Al Baghdadi was under attack by IS fighters, al-Obeidi said.
IS militants last week took control of the the town, which is about 9 miles from the Ayn Al Asad Air Base and northwest of Baghdad.
IS -- which is also identified by the acronyms ISIS and ISIL -- often beheads its captives like it did last week with 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians. Earlier this month though, the group burned alive Jordanian pilot First Lt. Moaz al-Kasasbeh.
IS hasn't publicly released any images of Wednesday's burning deaths, but Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said he has seen some imagery.
"It's being analyzed," Kirby said. "I'm not in a position as we speak right now to confirm the authenticity of it.
"Certainly (it) wouldn't surprise any of us here if it turns out to be authentic and true, given the kinds of atrocities that this group continues to wage against innocent civilians. But we're -- we're looking at it now, and just not in a position to confirm."