09 March 2005
Iraqi authorities have discovered the decomposing bodies of 41 people believed to have been executed by insurgents at two separate locations in Iraq.
Officials say 15 men and women, all beheaded, were found Tuesday south of Baghdad in an old military base near Latifiya.
Wednesday, the bodies of at least 26 other people dressed in civilian clothes were found near the town of Qaim, close to the Syrian border. Some had been shot execution-style, others were beheaded.
In Baghdad, an internet posting attributed to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's terror group claimed responsibility for a suicide truck bombing today outside the Agriculture Ministry and a hotel used by Westerners. At least three people were killed and 40 wounded. The U.S. embassy said 30 American contractors staying at the hotel were among the injured.
Also in Baghdad, gunmen opened fire on a convoy carrying Iraq's planning minister. He escaped unhurt, but one of his bodyguards was killed.
And a roadside bomb in the capital killed an American soldier and wounded another.