Iraqi authorities have discovered the decomposing bodies of 41 people believed to have been executed by insurgents.
Officials found the bodies of 26 people near Qaim, close to the Syrian border. Some had been shot execution-style, others were beheaded. On Tuesday, officials found 15 men and women, all beheaded, south of Baghdad at an old military base near Latifiya.
Meanwhile, in Baghdad, gunmen attacked a convoy carrying Iraq's planning minister, Mahdi al-Hafidh. He escaped unhurt, but two of his bodyguards were killed. Elsewhere in the capital, a roadside bomb killed an American soldier.
And an an Internet posting attributed to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's terror group claimed responsibility for a Wednesday suicide truck bombing in Baghdad near the Agriculture Ministry and a hotel used by Westerners. At least three people were killed and 40 wounded, including American contractors.