Iraq: 13 bodies found as Iran, U.S. set for new talks
American forces have found the bodies of 13 men in a mass grave in Iraq's Diyala province northeast of Baghdad, police said on Tuesday. The unidentified bodies were found dumped in a hole in the town of Muqdadiya, 90 km northeast of Baghdad. All were handcuffed, had gunshot wounds in the head and showed evidence of being tortured, police said.
The bodies were discovered in an orchard during a U.S.-led operation in the area on Monday, police said, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari on Tuesday said talks between the United States and Iran on the future of Iraq were expected "in the next few days," AFP reported. "We are trying to organise the fourth round of US-Iranian talks in Baghdad. The round is expected to start in the next few days," Zebari was quoted as saying at a press conference during a visit to Moscow.
"We have an interest in the success of these negotiations because it would lower tensions between Iraq and other countries and will help improve the situation in and around Iraq," Zebari said. The US State Department said on Monday that US-Iran talks were planned but that a date had not yet been agreed.
Zebari also said that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would very likely visit Iraq at the beginning of next month.