Iraqi authorities have discovered the bodies of 44 Iraqi soldiers and four drivers after they were ambushed and killed overnight near the Iraq-Iran border, an Iraqi military commander said Sunday.
Unification and Jihad, a group led by suspected terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, claimed responsibility Sunday for the massacre.
The claim appeared on an Arabic-language Web site, and CNN has not confirmed its authenticity.
Col. Jassem Mohammed Alaiwa, commander of the Iraqi national guard, said the soldiers were killed "execution-style" -- along with their four drivers. They had been forced to lie down and were shot in the head. The killings occurred about 80 miles east of Baghdad.
The soldiers had just completed training and were heading toward Basra in southern Iraq, Alaiwa said...
Car bombs and clashes killed 12 Iraqis Monday and three Australian troops were wounded in the first attack on their contingent since the end of the Iraq (news - web sites) war.
The Australians were hurt when a car bomb blew up near the Australian embassy in central Baghdad. The U.S. military said the blast killed three Iraqis and wounded at least six.
"This is the first time that Australian vehicles have been attacked by a direct enemy action," Australian Defense Force spokesman Brigadier Mike Hannan said in Canberra.
Reuters television footage showed three corpses covered in blankets and an Australian armored vehicle knocked off the road at the scene of the morning blast in Hurriya Square.
Nearly 400 tons of powerful explosives that could be used in conventional or nuclear missiles disappeared from an unguarded military installation in Iraq, the International Atomic Energy Agency said.
The Iraqi ministry of science and technology informed the IAEA of the disappearance of nearly 380 tons of mainly HMX and RDX explosive materiel on October 10, agency spokeswoman Melissa Fleming told AFP, confirming a report in The New York Times.
"It can be used in a nuclear explosion device, for the explosion," she said, adding: "That's why it was under IAEA verification and monitoring" before the March 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.
The New York Times said the materiel "could produce bombs strong enough to shatter airplanes or tear apart buildings."
feeling safer yet?