A police bus stopped at a checkpoint in Iraq’s Anbar Province, just one of the many checkpoints a bus has to traverse on any given day. The checkpoint turned out to be a fake, manned by militants which officials say were linked to al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).
The ensuing ambush on the bus and another vehicle left at least 15 people dead, including 10 border police and five locals. Though details were not provided on the victims beyond that, Karbala official Jassim al-Khuttabi said the attackers were killing “according to religious sect.”
The incident took place near Nukhaib, along the border between Anbar and the Karbala Province. Karbala is a hugely significant Shi’ite religious city, while Anbar is a mostly Sunni province.
Tensions in Iraq have been boiling over in a big way between Sunnis and Shi’ites again, with over 1,000 people killed in the last month, the largest death toll since 2007. UN officials have warned that the situation may be just the beginning, and that the nation is “ready to explode” into full-scale civil war.