Officials find dozens of blindfolded bodies in Iraq
Iraqi officials discovered 50 bodies, many of them blindfolded and with their hands bound, in an agricultural area outside a city south of Baghdad yesterday, raising concerns over a possible sectarian killing amid the battle against a Sunni insurgency.
The bodies, all of them with gunshot wounds, were found in the predominantly Shiite village of Khamissiya outside the city of Hillah, located some 95km south of Baghdad, military spokesman Brigadier General Saad Maan Ibrahim said.
He said an investigation was under way to determine the identities of the dead as well as the circumstances of the killings.
The dead were all men between the ages of 25 and 40, and it appeared they had been killed a few days earlier and then dumped in the remote area, said a local police officer and a medical official.
Most of the bodies had bullet wounds in either the head or the chest, they said on condition of anonymity.
While the motives remain unclear, such grisly killings harken back to the worst days of Iraq's sectarian bloodletting in 2006 and 2007.
At that time, with a Sunni insurgency raging, Shiite militias and Sunni militant groups were notorious for slayings of members of the other sect, and bodies were frequently dumped along roadsides, in empty lots, ditches and canals.
As the levels of violence dropped over time, such discoveries became rare.