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The New Arab

Baghdad: Bodies 'bearing torture marks' found in rubbish skips

There has been recent wave of dead bodies turning up in Baghdad rubbish dumps [Getty]

Date of publication: 23 August, 2016

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Iraqi authorities have found the dead bodies of 13 people, including a woman, in Baghdad as a violent wave of sectarian abductions and killings continues in the capital.

Iraqi authorities have found the dead bodies of 13 people, including a woman, in Baghdad as a violent wave of sectarian abductions and killings continues in the capital.

The bodies were found in rubbish skips in eastern and northern Baghdad on Tuesday just a day after another six dead bodies were discovered.

"All of the victims were killed by gunshot wounds to the head or chest and the majority of them show clear signs of torture," police chief Saadoun Ali al-Lami told The New Arab.

Lami added that all of the bodies have been taken to Baghdad's forensic medicine department to be identified.

Authorities have failed to address a recent wave of dead bodies turning up in rubbish dumps and abandoned parts of the Iraqi capital close to strongholds of Shia militias, according to The New Arab's Iraq correspondent.

Ahmad Abdel Khaleq, a doctor in the Ministry of Health's forensic medicine department, said that receiving unidentified bodies has become "routine" event.

"The bodies arrive and are refrigerated for 20 days before we send them to be buried in Najaf because there aren't enough refrigerators to hold all the dead, which come in every day," Abdel Khaleq said.

"It is clear these unidentified young people suffered greatly before they were killed. The majority of them are Sunnis and seem to have been killed by militia extremists."

The Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation Forces) is a government-backed militia made up of mostly Shia volunteer soldiers who are fighting alongside the Iraqi military against the Islamic State group [IS].

The group's soldiers have been accused of committing serious abuses and reprisal attacks against Sunnis thought to belong or to be sympathetic to IS in cities recently retaken from jihadists.

The Asaib Ahl al-Haq, the Badr Organisation and Hizballah militias have reportedly been behind a surge in kidnappings for ransom and killings in Baghdad.

In January, the Asaib Ahl al-Haq (League of the Righteous), which is one of Iraq's most powerful armed groups, was accused of kidnapping three Americans, who were eventually released unharmed the next month.

The same group abducted and killed four Britons in May 2007.

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