the american empire has installed a kinder, gentler puppet dictator ship to replace the dictatorship of saddam - well kind of!

Bodies of 11 men found tortured 3 Iraqi officials killed by gunmen in other attacks

Robert F. Worth New York Times Feb. 1, 2006 12:00 AM

BAGHDAD - The bodies of 11 young men, some of them shot repeatedly and bearing marks of torture, were found in a minibus Tuesday in west Baghdad, Interior Ministry officials said.

The men were found near Ghazaliya, an insurgent stronghold where Iraqi security forces have been accused of detaining, torturing and killing groups of Sunni Arab men in the past. But the 11 bodies were not immediately identified, and no group stepped forward to either take responsibility for or denounce the killings.

The bodies were discovered as scattered attacks took place across central and southern Iraq. In south Baghdad's Dawra district, gunmen opened fire on a car carrying two members of the Dawra district council, killing them both, police and witnesses said. Abdul Khadum al-Bahadili and Faiz al-Musawi had just left a council meeting.

Dawra has long been one of the capital's most violent areas, and Tuesday's killings brought to 16 the number of its district council members who have been assassinated since the council's establishment in 2003, said Waleed Hassan, a council member.

The violence came as the kidnappers of two German engineers said the hostages would be killed within 72 hours unless Germany stopped cooperating with Iraq and closed its embassy in Baghdad, Reuters reported. The men were abducted last week by gunmen dressed in Iraqi military uniforms.

Al-Jazeera television, which reported the demands, broadcast a new tape of the hostages dated Jan. 29. A German Foreign Ministry spokesman said experts were "examining the pictures carefully."

In west Baghdad, gunmen shot and killed Malik Razoki Abd, leader of another district council, as he opened the door to his home, Interior Ministry officials said.

Police officials in Mahmudiya, south of the capital, said a U.S. aircraft fired a missile that damaged three houses and injured three civilians. But U.S. military officials said they had no report of an airstrike.

The Iraqi Interior Ministry reported two incidents in Mahmudiya: a roadside bombing and a mortar attack on a house. The attacks left four civilians wounded, the officials said.

South of Basra, a bomb exploded near a passing British patrol, killing a soldier, British military officials said. The death brought to 100 the number of British soldiers killed since the 2003 invasion and came a day after another British soldier died after being struck by small-arms fire.

Southern Iraq has generally been much more peaceful than other areas, but in recent months, tensions have grown between the British and Shiite militia members.

A rising number of soldiers have been killed and wounded in roadside bombings, and Basra's provincial governor, Mohammed al-Waeli, has twice threatened to cease cooperating with British forces after they detained groups of Iraqis.

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