BAGHDAD – Iraqi officials say a mass grave containing the bodies of 33 men, women and children has been found in a former Sunni insurgent stronghold north of Baghdad.
Amer Riffat of the Diyala provincial council says the bodies were discovered Saturday near Khalis.
A police officer says the bodies showed signs of being blindfolded and shot. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter.
Police say they believe the victims were killed by Al Qaeda in Iraq militants who wielded sway in the area before a recent downturn in violence.
Mass graves have been turning up with increasing frequency as U.S. and Iraqi military operations have cleared former militant strongholds and allowed patrols there.