Execution-style killings on upswing in Iraq

KAREEM RAHEEM
Last updated 05:57 28/11/2013

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Police found the bodies of 13 people around Baghdad today, the apparent victims of execution-style shootings that recalled the height of Iraq's sectarian slaughter.

This year has been Iraq's most violent since the Sunni-Shi'ite bloodbath of 2006-07, now with a resurgence of sectarian killings as well as a growing insurgent campaign of bomb and gun attacks targeting security forces and civilians.

Police retrieved the corpses of eight men, blindfolded and handcuffed, in the mainly Sunni Muslim area of Arab Jubbor, south of Baghdad, today. In the northwest of the capital, five bodies were found in the mostly Shi'ite Shu'ala district, also handcuffed and blindfolded and executed, police said.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the killings or when they had occurred.

A total of 33 people were killed and 76 wounded in bomb attacks and separate shootings across Iraq today.

Attackers shot dead a Sunni family of five in Hurriya, a mainly Shi'ite district northwest of Baghdad. Men with silenced guns killed one person and wounded three at a bus terminal in Bayaa, another mainly Shi'ite area south of the city.

In one of the deadliest attacks, a suicide bomber killed 10 people and wounded dozens at a funeral in Abu Ghraib, west of Baghdad. In the far western border city of Qaim, a roadside bomb killed one soldier on patrol and wounded another, police said.

Nearly 1000 people were killed in Iraq in October, according to UN figures, bringing the total so far this year to more than 6000. The violence is partly fuelled by the Syrian conflict next door which has a strong sectarian element.

Tens of thousands of people died during Iraq's Sunni-Shi'ite bloodletting which peaked in 2006-2007.

The United Nations has urged Iraq's feuding political leaders to cooperate to end the bloodshed, which has worsened since US troops withdrew in December 2011.

The Shi'ite-led government has blamed Sunni militants, including al Qaeda which operates on both sides of Iraq's border with Syria. But Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's critics say his policies have aggravated widespread Sunni grievances.

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- Reuters

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