The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Baghdad (AFP) – A wave of violence Friday killed 51 people in Iraq, most of whom were kidnapped and shot dead with their corpses abandoned, in scenes harking back to Iraq’s sectarian war.

The killings come amid a surge in violence that has left more than 600 people dead this month, including several who were snatched from their homes, only for their bodies to be found later, fueling fears Iraq is slipping back into the communal bloodshed that plagued it from 2005 to 2007.

More than 6,000 people have been killed this year, forcing Baghdad to appeal for international help in battling militancy just months before a general election, as official concern focuses on a resurgent Al-Qaeda emboldened by the war in neighboring Syria.

Violence on Friday struck in Baghdad and mostly Sunni Arab parts of the north and west, with shootings and bombings targeting civilians, local officials, security forces and even a brothel.

But the most troubling of the bloodshed came early Friday morning, when authorities discovered the bodies of 18 men, including two tribal chiefs, four policemen and an army major, dumped in farmland near the Sunni Arab town of Tarmiyah, just north of Baghdad.

All of them had been shot in the head and chest, police and a medical source said.

The kidnappers, wearing military uniform and travelling in what appeared to be army vehicles, abducted the men early Friday, telling their families the men were suspects in various cases and were being taken for questioning.

Their bodies were found hours later, the sources said.

There was another such incident in Salaheddin province, north of Baghdad. Seven men — all maintenance workers and labourers at a local football field — were found dead, their throats cut.

A police officer told AFP he had felt physically sick upon seeing the mutilated corpses.

Three more corpses, all women, were also found in east Baghdad, their bodies bearing signs of torture. They were all shot in the head earlier on Friday, officials said.

The brutal killings come just days after authorities discovered the bodies of 19 people shot dead in various parts of Baghdad, including eight found blindfolded and six whose corpses were left in a canal.

At the peak of sectarian fighting in the wake of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, Sunni and Shiite militias regularly carried out tit-for-tat kidnappings and assassinations and left scores of corpses littering the streets.

At the time, many of the bodies were blindfolded and showed signs of torture.

Elsewhere in Iraq on Friday, attacks in and around Baghdad, and the cities of Mosul, Baquba and Kirkuk killed 23 people, officials said.

Among them were a bombing against a football pitch in west Baghdad that killed five, and a gun attack against a brothel in the capital’s east that left six people dead.

The capital and Sunni Arab parts of northern and western Iraq have borne the brunt of the upswing in bloodshed.

The violence worsened sharply after security forces stormed a Sunni protest camp in northern Iraq in April, sparking clashes in which dozens of people died.

The authorities have made some concessions aimed at placating the protesters and Sunnis in general, including freeing prisoners and raising the salaries of anti-Al-Qaeda Sahwa fighters.

At the same time, the security forces have trumpeted operations targeting militants.

But daily attacks have shown no sign of abating.

Friday’s killings capped a week in which more than 200 people have died nationwide, with the overall death toll for the year topping 6,000, according to an AFP tally based on reports from security and medical officials.

Diplomats, analysts and rights groups say the government is not doing enough to address Sunni disquiet over what they see as mistreatment at the hands of the Shiite-led authorities.

On Wednesday, the UN Security Council condemned the violence and voiced support for government efforts to tackle the bloodshed.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki used a recent trip to Washington to push for greater intelligence sharing and the timely delivery of new weapons systems in a bid to combat militants.

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Sen. Lindsey Graham, left and Rudy Giuliani

Youtube Screenshot

It’s not just the House Select Committee on January 6 that wants a better look at many of those involved in Donald Trump’s scheme to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Thanks to their wide-ranging activities in many states, investigations are going on at the local, state, and federal level into actions that Trump’s team took in attempting to reverse the will of the American people.

No state may have borne more of Trump’s focused fury than Georgia. President Joe Biden carried the state by over 12,500 votes, making it second to Arizona when it comes to the the narrowest margin of victory. This was far outside the realm of possible change that might be addressed by a recount, but Georgia conducted a recount anyway. When that didn’t make things any better for Trump, he requested that Georgia count a third time, which it did. Trump still lost, and by a bigger number than ever.

Keep reading... Show less

J.R. Majewski

Youtube Screenshot

A Republican House candidate for a competitive seat in northwest Ohio said Monday that mass shootings are an acceptable price to pay for his right to own guns.

"I don't care if countries in Europe have less shootings because they don't have guns. I care about THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and OUR 2nd Amendment Rights," Republican J.R. Majewski tweeted Monday evening. "I think Americans stopped caring what Europe thought of our country in 1776."

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}