In yet another sign of the deteriorating security situation in Iraq, gunmen wearing Iraqi Army uniforms marched into the village of Zauba today, rounded up and executed at least 13 civilians, including children.
Iraqi officials confirmed the killings, but dismissed them as “a tribal conflict.” Among those killed was a leading figure of the Iraqi Islamic Party, the nation’s largest Sunni party, and several members of the Awakening Council.
Though the attackers wore Iraqi Army uniforms, they reportedly arrived in the village in civilian vehicles. Locals say that at least five of those slain were beheaded in the attack.
The Awakening Council, a US-backed Sunni militia, has come under increasing fire from all sides in recent months. Sunni insurgents have accused the group of being collaborators, while the Shi’ite led government has questioned their loyalty, citing the large number of members who were formerly insurgents themselves.