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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iraqi officials say 24 people dead in al-Qaeda terror attack

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Baghdad, April 3, IRNA -- Iraqi officials said on Saturday gunmen have sprayed bullets on people in execution style killing 24 men and women in a village south of Baghdad.

An interior ministry official said that the victims, 19 men and five women, were handcuffed and shot in the head on Friday night. They were members of the same family linked to anti-al Qaeda.

"Our information is that the killers were from al Qaeda," said Major General Qassim Atta, spokesman for the Iraqi security's Baghdad operations.

He said that 17 people had been arrested.

Seven other civilians discovered handcuffed in the village were freed, he said.

Most of the dead are members of the Sahwa movement, also known as the Sons of Iraq by the US Army, a defense ministry official added.

The killings come as the Iraqi political parties negotiate to form a government, nearly a month after parliamentary elections.

End News / IRNA / News Code 1033992

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