Fear rises of return to sectarian violence in Iraq

The New York Times reports: A family of five killed in their home. A group of men shot dead in a field. Eight bodies, tied up in cable, discovered on a farm, each with a bullet in the head.

More than 300 Iraqis have been killed this month in bombings and shootings in markets, along roadsides, near schools and mosques, and in bakeries. On Tuesday, the United Nations Security Council condemned the recent spike in violence in Iraq and the deliberate targeting of places where civilians congregate.

But on Wednesday, the daily tally of violence took on an air of pinpoint deliberation with the execution-style killings of several groups of civilians, a grim reminder of the worst days of sectarian warfare in the country. While major bombings have become common, the killings reintroduced the prospect of a resurgence in the type of violence that rattled Iraq in 2006 and 2007.

The bodies of the eight young men tied in cable were found on a farm in Jubor, a Sunni city south of Baghdad, the same place other bodies had been dumped during the sectarian turmoil seven years ago.

The bodies of five men shot in the head and chest were found in an open field in Shula, a Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad, the authorities said.

The five family members, including two boys and a girl, were killed by gunshot in their house in Hurriya, a Shiite-majority neighborhood of Baghdad, the police said. They were identified as Sunni, but no further information about them was immediately released.

The 18 dead were among at least 40 people, including security forces, who were killed in attacks across Iraq on Wednesday. [Continue reading…]

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