Coroner discovers cigarette burns and bruises on body of Canadian who fought ISIS

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The body of a Canadian killed by ISIL six months ago was covered with cigarette burns and bruises, according to the autopsy report sent to the family by Global Affairs Canada.

The coroner who examined the remains in the northern Iraqi city Erbil last week concluded the wounds suggested that Nazzareno Tassone had been beaten and tortured with ropes and cigarettes.

But those familiar with the details believe it is more likely ISIL fighters mutilated his body after he was killed on Dec. 21 in Syria’s Raqqa province. Committing “outrages” on bodies is a war crime.

Tassone, 24, was one of the hundreds of international volunteers helping Kurdish forces battle ISIL. His body was recovered last month by Kurdish People’s Protection Units fighters.

His casket is in Erbil, awaiting final approval for the return trip to Ontario. The Canadian Heroes Foundation is planning to escort him from Toronto to his native Niagara Falls for burial.

The coroner’s graphic report is yet another testament to the depravity of ISIL. Former ISIL members have alleged the terrorist group had cut up corpses and dragged them behind vehicles.

According to the two-page autopsy report by Dr. Yasin Kareem Amin, Tassone died of internal bleeding, the result of a skull fracture caused by a “heavy, solid instrument to the head.”

The death certificate said he was killed “due to outside strike.” It is unclear whether he was struck with an object, hurt in an explosion or fell as ISIL captured his position. A Briton and three Kurds were also killed.

The autopsy report is striking for the long list of wounds noted by the coroner, from a broken rib and nose to bruises, “cigarette marks” and indications that his wrists had been bound.

File from Stewart Bell-National Post.