Iraq: Gunmen kill 8 anti-al-Qaida Sunni fighters

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By SINAN SALAHEDDIN, Associated Press

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi officials say gunmen have killed eight anti-al-Qaida Sunni militiamen north of the capital, Baghdad.

A police officer says the men were snatched from their houses in the town of Mishahda and surrounding villages during the past two days. He added that their dead bodies were left in an orchard on Monday with gunshots wounds to their heads and chests. Some had their hands bound behind their backs.

The town is 30 kilometers (20 miles) north of the capital.

A health official confirmed the casualty figure. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information.

The government-allied militiamen, or Sahwa, joined forces with U.S. troops to fight al-Qaida. They are a frequent target for al-Qaida in Iraq, which considers them traitors.

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