Gunmen in Iraqi army uniforms abducted and killed 13 people, including a local leader of Iraq’s largest Sunni Arab party, whose bodies were found Monday with gunshot wounds to the head, authorities said.
Violence has dropped sharply in Iraq over the last year, but politicians and security officials have warned in recent weeks of a possible increase in violence in the run-up to the national election in January as insurgents look to undermine the government and destabilize the country.
The attack took place in the village of Saadan near the town of Abu Ghraib on Baghdad’s western outskirts, Abu Ghraib Mayor Shakir Zubaie said.
The gunmen knocked on doors and ordered the residents to step outside, saying they wanted to search the houses for weapons. The assailants then handcuffed 13 men, shoved them into a minibus and drove off, Zubaie said.
All 13 men were later found in a nearby cemetery, shot execution style with a bullet to the head, said the mayor and police official Waleed Zubaie.
Maj. Gen. Qassim Atta Moussawi, head of Baghdad’s Operations Command, said authorities were looking for 10 suspects who live in the area.
In the northern city of Kirkuk, a car bombing at a market killed five people and wounded seven others, police said.