Bullet-riddled corpses a bleak reminder

2013-09-19 22:33


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Baghdad - The bullet-riddled bodies of 10 young men were found in Baghdad on Thursday, in a bleak reminder of the Sunni-Shi'ite sectarian conflict of 2006-2007 that almost tore Iraq apart.

Security and morgue officials said the unidentified men - aged 17 to 25 - had been shot in the head and chest. They had been dead for up to two days, an army source said.

The corpses were recovered close to a disused pharmaceuticals plant at Mahamel in eastern Baghdad near the Shi'ite district of Sadr City.

Summary executions were commonplace at the height of the Sunni-Shi'ite conflict when many thousands of people were killed in cold blood.

But this was the first time in several years that such a large number of bodies had been found in one place.

The executions added to violence which has cost more than 4 200 lives this year, the highest toll since 2008 when Iraq was emerging from its brutal sectarian war.

The upsurge has raised fears of a return to civil war, the apparent aim of Sunni militants linked to al-Qaeda.

They have for several months been targeting mosques, marketplaces and even football grounds used by Shi'ites, who they regard as apostates.

On Thursday, at least eight people were killed and 25 wounded as a car bomb went off at a market in Abu Ghraib, western Baghdad, police and medical sources said.

The UN deputy special representative for Iraq, Gyorgy Busztin, has expressed "extreme concern" about a sectarian-based displacement of Sunni communities.

"The use of violence and intimidation against communities by illegal armed groups forcing them to flee their homes is unacceptable," he said on Wednesday.

Busztin called on the Iraqi authorities "to protect communities from attack, ensuring their safety, security, and right to a peaceful life free of intimidation".

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who heads Iraq's Shi'ite-dominated authorities, meanwhile, condemned the trend as he met with displaced Sunni families.

He said the Al-Saadun clan members had been driven out of Nasiriyah, Basra and Kut, all Shi'ite-majority regions in the south of the country.

"Ethnic cleansing is taking place each day. There are more and more attacks aimed at widening the rift" between Iraqi communities, a Western diplomat said.

In the port city of Basra, gunmen have shot dead 15 Sunnis since the start of the month, including a cleric and mosque employees, according to Abdulkarim al-Khazraji, a representative of the local Sunni community.

"Messages have been left in envelopes at night near Sunni mosques telling Sunnis to leave Basra" or face revenge attacks for violence against Shi'ites in the northern city of Mosul.

"An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," the messages warn, according to Khazraji, a religious leader.

He said some families had fled, despite assurances of protection by the authorities, and all prayer services in Sunni mosques have been suspended.

Read more on:    iraq

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.