Iraq: 14 bodies of government employees found as 11 people die
An armed Sunni group kidnapped 18 Iraqi government employees in response to the alleged rape last month of a Sunni woman by three Shiite policemen, according to a statement and images posted Friday on the Internet. The statement was signed by the Islamic State of Iraq, a Sunni group with ties to al-Qaeda.
"This blessed operation is a response to crimes carried out by those infidels in their fight against the Sunnis," the statement said. "The latest of the crimes committed by these traitors was to rape our sister in religion." Hours later, the government said the bodies of 14 security officers had been found.
Brig. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, an Interior Ministry spokesman, said the 14 bodies were found Friday afternoon in Diyala province northeast of Baghdad. He blamed al-Qaeda for the killings and said Iraqi authorities would "chase those who assassinated these unarmed people."
In Baghdad, a pair of car bombs killed at least 11 people in separate attacks across the city. The bigger occurred at a used car lot near Sadr City, killing 10 people, wounding 17 and setting several cars ablaze, police said.
Meanwhile, an American Marine died in combat in Iraq's western Anbar province, the U.S. military said Friday. The Marine was killed during combat operations on Wednesday, the AP reported.
The U.S. command said Thursday that two other U.S. Marines were killed the day before in fighting in Anbar province.