Iraqi military officials imposed a curfew Saturday in the village of
Bou Saifi near Baghdad, where gunmen wearing military uniforms killed
at least 24 people a day earlier.
The Iraqi Interior Ministry has blamed al-Qaida for the slaying of men
and women who reportedly had connections to the pro-U.S. Awakening
movement, that helped U.S. and Iraqi forces fight al-Qaida.
Local officials said most of the victims were tied up and brutally
beaten before they were killed execution style. They said security
forces found seven people tied up but alive.
Baghdad's security chief, General Qassem Mohammed Atta, said Iraqi
security forces are investigating the murders and that he personally is
taking part in interrogating at least 25 people detained in connection
with the slayings.
An Iraqi satellite TV station reported the assassins were wearing U.S.
army uniforms. It said the villagers are accusing men from a
neighboring village of staging the attack.
Local officials complain that the central government and Iraqi security
forces have not done enough to protect local Sahwa militiamen since
they were incorporated into the government security forces.
Targeted killings and other violence have been on the rise since the country's March 7 parliamentary elections.