Updated at 10:07 p.m. EST, April 3, 2010
A gruesome massacre that left at least two dozen Sunnis dead in an area just south of Baghdad has recharged concerns that a new period of sectarian bloodshed is at hand. Overall, at least 31 Iraqis were killed and 18 more were wounded across the country, mostly in what used to be called the Triangle of Death.
Gunmen wearing National Police uniforms and speaking passable English killed 25 people just south of Baghdad in al-Bu Sayf, a district within Hawr Rijab and near Mahmoudiya. The attack targeted Awakening Council (Sahwa) members and their families. Women and children were among the dead, though some had also been spared and were able to give accounts of the massacre. There were indications of torture and some survivors were handcuffed. The gunmen claimed to be Iraqi or American servicemembers to gain entry to the victims’ homes. A curfew is in effect, and the south Baghdad neighborhoods of Doura and Arab Jabour have also been sealed in response to the attack. At least 17 people were arrested.
Seven people were wounded during an I.E.D. attack on a bus in al-Sadda, which lies just north of Hilla.
A blast killed two children and wounded two more in the Kirkuk suburb of al-Moltaqa. The device that exploded may have been left over from the Saddam era.
A man was killed and two bystanders were wounded in Khan Bani Saad, when a bomb the man was apparently carrying on his bike accidentally exploded.
A blast targeting a Sahwa leader in Buhriz wounded two of his bodyguards.
In Kirkuk, a policeman and a civilian were wounded in the Khadraa district.
A suspected Islamic State of Iraq member was captured in Garma.