Iraq Interior Ministry blamed for murders

Feb. 4, 2006 at 7:24 AM

BAGHDAD, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- The Association of Muslim Scholars claims 14 men found shot in Baghdad were last seen at a prayer service when they were taken by Interior Ministry troops.

The bodies of the Sunni Muslim men were found Friday with multiple gun shot wounds in them, the BBC reports.

This is the latest in allegations that a group within the Interior Ministry is engaged in sectarian cleansing. Dozens of bodies have been discovered over the last few weeks in fighting between Shiite and Sunni factions, the BBC said.

The killing of the 14 men is being investigated by the ministry.

Maj. Gen. Hussein Ali Kamal, the head of the ministry's intelligence, said he couldn't confirm whether the men had been detained by his troops.

The Association of Muslim Scholars says the victims were praying at the al-Aqsa Mosque in northwest Baghdad at the time of their detention.

The bodies were found in the same area.

Dr. Salman al-Jumaili, a top figure in the Iraqi Islamic Party, accused the ministry of "sectarian cleansing."

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