Sunnis Accuse Iraqi Military of Kidnappings and Slayings
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Nov. 28 - As the American military pushes the largely Shiite Iraqi security services into a larger role in combating the insurgency, evidence has begun to mount suggesting that the Iraqi forces are carrying out executions in predominantly Sunni neighborhoods.
Hundreds of accounts of killings and abductions have emerged in recent weeks, most of them brought forward by Sunni civilians, who claim that their relatives have been taken away by Iraqi men in uniform without warrant or explanation.
Some Sunni men have been found dead in ditches and fields, with bullet holes in their temples, acid burns on their skin, and holes in their bodies apparently made by electric drills. Many have simply vanished.
Some of the young men have turned up alive in prison. In a secret bunker discovered earlier this month in an Interior Ministry building in Baghdad, American and Iraqi officials acknowledged that some of the mostly Sunni inmates appeared to have been tortured.
Ayad Allawi, a prominent Iraqi politician who is close to the Sunni community, charged in an interview published Sunday in The London Observer that the Iraqi government - and the Ministry of Interior in particular - was condoning torture and running death squads.
One Sunni group taking testimony from families in Baghdad said it had documented the death or disappearance of 700 Sunni civilians in the past four months.
"There is no question that bodies are turning up," said the investigator, who agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity, citing safety concerns. "Quite a few have been handcuffed and shot in the back of the head."
In one Sunni neighborhood, Sababkar, residents said the Iraqi Army surrounded the neighborhood and took away 11 of its Sunni men in July. Most of the bodies were found the next day; television stations here showed pictures of bodies that had been burned with acid and drilled with holes by electric drills. Most of the men had been shot in their temples.
But I'm sure that putting Saddam on trial will stop this sort of thing.