The bodies of at least 30 people, including women and children, have been found in a mainly Sunni Arab area of Baghdad, police and government officials said on Saturday.An “Awakening Council” of local leaders, which oversees neighborhood policing, discovered at least 30 decomposing bodies in the Hay Asia area of Doura in southern Baghdad, an Interior Ministry official said.
The notoriously violent neighborhood of Doura has been a stronghold of Sunni Islamist al Qaeda militants.
The bodies were moved to a mosque and then taken to a police station, the official said. He said they were found in several locations in and around houses.
A police source said the bodies, discovered on Friday, included at least three women and four children. It was difficult to identify them because they were badly decomposed, he said.
Mass graves have been found regularly in Iraq, often containing bodies of those kidnapped and killed by al Qaeda and other insurgents.
Earlier this month, Iraqi soldiers found at least 30 bodies of men and women in two mass graves in a former al Qaeda stronghold northwest of Baghdad.