Published: Friday, July 26, 2013

Gunmen execute 14 Shia truck drivers in Iraq

Sunni militants summarily yesterday executed at least 14 Shias after setting up a roadblock north of Baghdad, stopping trucks and checking the IDs of drivers, Iraqi officials said.
The nighttime attack was reminiscent of the darkest days of the Sunni-Shiite sectarian bloodshed in Iraq in 2006-2007, when thousands of people were killed because of their religious affiliation or forced to abandon their homes under threat of death.
Lingering tensions between Sunnis and Shias have been inflamed by persistent violence in Iraq and the civil war in neighbouring Syria, and there are growing fears that the country is slipping back towards all-out sectarian conflict.
Two local officials said some 150 militants carried out a coordinated operation during the night that included the highway killings, in the area of Sulaiman Bek, a town north of Baghdad.