BAGHDAD, (Reuters) – Iraqi police have found the bodies of 22 men handcuffed and shot dead in an area near the Iran border, officials said on Friday.
Police said the bodies were found near Badra town in Wasit province, 110 km (69 miles) southeast of Baghdad, on Thursday.
They were taken to a local morgue and then transported to the Iraqi capital Baghdad where many of the victims had apparently lived, police said.
Family members chanting "There is no God but God" picked up some of the bodies on Friday, taking them home in flag-draped coffins. Some family members said their relatives had been abducted from their homes almost three months ago.
One old woman walked along the street nearby screaming "where”s my brother, where”s my brother."
Many of the victims appeared to be members of Iraq”s Sunni Arab minority, but there was no confirmaton of that.
Sunni insurgents are waging a bloody struggle with the Shi”ite majority and its northern Kurdish allies. Some Sunni leaders have accused Shi”ite militia of carrying out revenge attacks against Sunnis.
Police said shepherds in Wasit discovered the bodies in an area between Badra and the neighbouring town of Jassem and alerted local police.