Baghdad — Iraqi police found 17 bullet-riddled bodies in different areas of Baghdad, officials said Monday, raising fears of more sectarian bloodletting at a time of soaring tensions as other attacks around the capital killed 10 people.
Authorities found the bodies of 14 men and three women dumped in the streets late Sunday and early Monday, two police officers said. Some had suffered gunshot wounds to the heads and chest, with others blindfolded and bound, they said. Some showed signs of being tortured, they said.
Officers found no identification cards on the bodies and police could not offer a motive in their killings.
The discovery is a grim reminder of the sectarian killing that engulfed Iraq in 2006 and 2007. Then, both Shiite and Sunni death squads roamed the streets and raided homes to round up people. Authorities later found the victims’ corpses, often mutilated.
Also Monday, driver-by shooters armed with pistols fitted with silencers killed four men in different areas in Baghdad, police said.
Shortly before nightfall, a bomb exploded in a commercial street in a Madain town, just south of Baghdad, killing four shoppers and wounding nine, police said. Minutes later, a bomb blast near a line of shops killed two people and wounded 12 in Baghdad’s northwestern district of Shula, police said.
Medical officials confirmed the casualty figures for all attacks. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the media.
Since early this year, the al-Qaida breakaway Islamic State group has taken over large swaths of land in western and northern Iraq, including Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, which was captured in June. The group has imposed a self-styled caliphate in territory they control in Iraq and Syria, imposing their harsh interpretation of Islamic law.