Attacks in Iraq kill 36; 13 corpses found
BAGHDAD (AP) — Attacks across Iraq including a suicide bombing at a Sunni funeral killed at least 36 on Wednesday, authorities said, while police found 13 bodies at two different locations with gunshot wounds to their heads.
Bodies were frequently found dumped during the height of Iraq’s sectarian violence in 2006 and 2007, when the country was at the edge of civil war. Although monthly deaths tolls are still significantly lower than they were then, a seven-month spike of violence that shows little sign of abating has raised fears that widespread killing may be rekindled.
Eight of the corpses were found dumped in farmland in the Sunni-dominated Arab Jabour district, a police officer said. All of the dead, men believed to be between the ages of 25 to 35, suffered gunshot to their heads, he said.
Arab Jabour, a former insurgent stronghold, is located about 25 kilometers (15 miles) south of Baghdad.
Authorities found another five corpses in a vacant lot in a residential area of the capital’s predominantly Shiite northwestern Shula neighborhood, the officer said. The slain men, all in their 30s, had their hands and legs tied and suffered gunshots in heads and chests, he said. Officers found no identification on the corpses.
In 2006 and 2007, both Shiite and Sunni death squads roamed the streets and raided homes to round up people. Authorities later found the victims’ corpses, often mutilated.
Shortly after sunset, 11 mourners were killed and 25 others were wounded when a suicide bomber set off his explosive belt inside a tent where the Sunni funeral was being held in Baghdad’s western suburbs of Abu Ghraib, said local police and hospital officials.
The other attacks ranged from a home invasion to a drive-by shooting to a complex assault on a police station involving a suicide bomber, a mortar strike, and a team of gunmen.
Gunmen armed with silencer-fitted pistols broke into the house of a Sunni family in the predominantly Shiite northern Hurriyah neighborhood Wednesday in northern Baghdad, killing the parents, two sons and a daughter, a police officer said.
Elsewhere in Baghdad, a bomb exploded in the southern Dora neighborhood, killing two civilians, authorities said. Mortar rounds landed in a street in the southwestern Albu Eitha neighborhood, killing another two. Gunmen fired on a crowd in the southeastern Bayaa neighborhood, killing one.
Outside of Baghdad, a suicide bomber rammed his car into a checkpoint manned by the Kurdish security forces in the town of Khanaqin north of Baghdad, killing three, another police officer said.
Another suicide bomber set off his explosives-laden belt at the gate of a police station in the town of Habbaniyah west of Baghdad, allowing another to enter and blow himself up inside the building, a police officer said. The blast killed five police officers, he said.
Also to the west of Baghdad, militants fired two mortar rounds at a police station outside the city of Ramadi, which was then attacked by a suicide attacker on foot and gunmen, the officer said. That attack killed four officers, while police killed two of the gunmen, he said.
A drive-by shooting also killed two school teachers in the town of Hadra, between the northern city of Mosul and western Anbar province, authorities said. In Mosul, gunmen shot dead a government employee as he was walking near his house.
Medical officials confirmed the casualty figures from the attacks. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release the information to journalists.
Associated Press writer Sameer N. Yacoub contributed to this report.