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Gunmen in army uniforms massacre 25 people in Iraqi village

Gunmen in army uniforms massacre 25 people in Iraqi village

Gunmen in army uniforms swooped on a village south of Baghdad at dawn yesterday, stormed three houses and massacred 25 people from families linked to an anti-Qaeda militia, Iraqi officials said.
Among the dead were 20 men and five women, an interior ministry official said.
The brutal killings, which bear the markings of an Al-Qaeda attack, come as Iraq's political parties negotiate to form a government, nearly a month after parliamentary elections.
Security officials have warned that a protracted period of coalition building could give insurgents an opportunity to further destabilise Iraq.
"Men wearing uniforms and driving vehicles similar to those used by the army stormed three houses in the village of Sufia, in the region of Hour Rajab, and killed 25 people, including five women," said the interior ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The official said the killers tied up their victims before carrying out the killings.
A defense ministry official confirmed the details of the attack and the toll.
According to the defense ministry official, the families were part of the Sahwa (Awakening) movement, known as the "Sons of Iraq" by the U.S. army, which joined American and Iraqi forces in 2006 and 2007 to fight against Al-Qaeda and its supporters, leading to a dramatic fall in violence across the country.
Control of the Sahwa passed to Iraqi authorities in October 2008 and since January 2009, their wages - said to have been cut from 300 dollars under U.S. leadership to 100 dollars - have been paid, often late, by the government.
The Sahwa are, however, regular targets of Al-Qaeda, which remains active in the country.
Hour Rajab is a mainly agricultural region on Baghdad's outskirts, mostly populated by the Jubur and the Janabat tribes.
Though the frequency of attacks has dropped significantly across Iraq since its peak in 2006 and 2007, figures released on Thursday showed the number of Iraqis killed in violence last month was the highest this year.


Updated : 2021-07-28 03:05 GMT+08:00