The New York Times
April 3, 2010

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
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BAGHDAD — The killers came at night, speaking passable English and wearing uniforms and carrying weapons that resembled those of the American military.

By the time they left the south Baghdad district of Hur Rijab on Friday evening, they had fatally shot or slit the throats of 25 members of an extended family, Iraqi officials said Saturday, in a chilling episode of violence reminiscent of the worst days of the country’s sectarian warfare in 2006 and 2007.

Most of the 19 male victims had been members of Iraqi security forces or of Awakening Councils, groups that now partner with American forces and are employed by the Iraqi government to protect Sunni neighborhoods, but whose members had once been allied with Sunni extremist groups like Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia during fighting against American troops.

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