Uniformed Men Execute 24 Sunnis in Baghdad
Victims were members of anti-Qaeda Awakening Councils
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 3, 2010 9:31 AM CDT
Iraqi Awakening Council members patrol in the Azamiyah area of north Baghdad Saturday.   (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
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(Newser) – Gunmen wearing Iraqi military uniforms raided homes in a Sunni village south of Baghdad, killing at least 24 people, including five women, in execution-style attacks. Many of the dead were members of local Sahwa, or Awakening Councils—one of several names for the Sunni fighters who changed the course of the war when they revolted against al-Qaeda in Iraq and joined the Americans in late 2006 and 2007.

An army official said many of the victims were brutalized "beyond recognition." At least seven people were found alive, bound with handcuffs. It's not uncommon for Awakening Councils members to be targeted for revenge by al-Qaeda, but the scope of this killing is unusual.