Militia gunmen have gone on a rampage in a Sunni district of Baghdad killing dozens in what is the bloodiest of many outbreaks of sectarian violence. At least 40 people have been killed by Shi’ite gunmen who according to police and interior ministry sources were moving through the Sunni area checking people’s identity papers for typically Sunni names.
“What crime have my people committed, this man asks and he damands that the government intervene. Reuters reports that according to one interior ministry official, Sunni’s were being herded into side streets and gunned down. Police and politicans blame the Medhi Army milita of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. But officals from Sadr’s movement deny involvement. “Is this Islam ?” this woman, whose husband was shot, asks.
According to reports, a senior Shi’ite politican says that Mehdi Army fighters from eastern Baghdad had moved into Sunni areas of the capital but insisted that they were only targeting Sunni militants responsible for killing Shi’ites. Sunni Arabs say government-backed Shi’ite militias are behind many attacks in Iraq. But officials have denied this.