By KIM GAMEL Associated Press Writer
AP Photo/ASAAD MOUHSIN
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Masked Shiite gunmen stopped cars in western Baghdad Sunday and grabbed people off the streets, singling out the Sunni Arabs among them and killing at least 37, police said. UPDATE: WashPost is reporting the number of dead at more then 50:
They set up checkpoints to stop cars, burst into homes, and singled out Sunni Arab residents for execution, witnesses and police said. Some of the corpses were handcuffed and pocked with bullet holes while others were pegged with nails, witnesses said.
An official in a Sunni political party in al-Jihad said he saw Mahdi Army fighters riding in the same vehicles with Interior Ministry commanders. He took his family out of the house because he feared it would be raided by militiamen. Outside, he said he saw 15 bodies.
"Some of them were tortured with drills," he said. "Some of them were hanged by ropes."
[...]The attack in the Jihad neighborhood apparently was retaliation for the car bombing of a local Shiite mosque the night before.
Deputy Prime Minister Salam Zikam Ali al-Zubaie, a Sunni, called the attack "a real and ugly massacre."
He blamed Iraqi security forces that are widely believed to have been infiltrated by Shiite militia.
An Interior Ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity for security reasons, said Shiite militiamen wearing masks and black uniforms were roaming the neighborhood, checking people's identity cards, presumably for Sunni names. "They are killing civilians according to their identity cards," he said.
The Sunni Arabs were singled out and driven away. Their bodies were found later dumped on streets throughout the neighborhood, Abdul-Razzaq said, adding that police had collected at least 37 bodies.
GOI: Can anyone doubt anymore that Iraq is completely lost? Some 3 and one half years after the start of this war the Iraqi security forces are STILL unable (or unwilling) to defend their own country and purge themselves (and the government) of militia presence. The Iraqi's are determinded to brutally fight and kill each other. How can we prevent such actions??? What are we supposed to do in the light of these events besides helplessy sit by and watch?? We are spending all this money to keep our troops there as basically armed journalists. Let's pull back to Kuwait and let the Iraqi's figure out how bad they want Democracy. If they want to continue to fight it out amonst themselves then so be it. Trying to play mediator in a civil war doesn't work and isn't working. It is only making us the target from both sides.
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