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10/24/2004

49 Iraqi Soldiers "Executed"

Police said insurgents appeared to have intercepted the soldiers as they were traveling home on leave and forced them to lie on the ground before shooting them.

"They were all executed, we found them executed," Interior Ministry spokesman Adnan Abdul-Rahman said.

He said the soldiers had been traveling in three minibuses, which were all burned-out wrecks after the attack. [Reuters]
The soldiers, who had just received American training in Kirkush, are "believed to have been killed about sundown Saturday on a road about 95 miles east of Baghdad near the Iranian border," according to Interior Ministry spokesman Adnan Abdul-Rahman [AP]. The soldiers were ordered to lie down with their hands behind their heads, in four orderly rows of about a dozen, then shot in the back of the head [NYT].

The AP states that the police list the dead at 51 and that they may have been members of the national guard rather than the army. It quotes Diyala's deputy Gov. Aqil Hamid al-Adili on infiltration:
"There was probably collusion among the soldiers or other groups. Otherwise, the gunmen would not have gotten the information about the soldiers' departure from their training camp and that they were unarmed," he said.
See also BBC.

 

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