Iraqi police on Monday found the corpses of 15 people, including three women shot in the head in militia-style killings, a bloody start to the holiday marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, security sources said.
Fears have been growing of a relapse to the dark days of sectarian civil war which peaked in 2006-2007 since Sunni militants seized large swathes of the north last month, building on gains by comrades made in the west of Iraq.
Iraq's US-trained and funded army unraveled in the face of the lighting advance, and Shi'ite militias now rival government forces in their ability to confront the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.
Baghdad's morgues are filling up once again with victims of sectarian slayings, kidnappings are on the rise and the bloodshed is forcing families to flee abroad or move to neighborhoods where they feel less threatened.
This year's Eid al-Fitr festival marking the end of Ramadan is filled with uncertainty and apprehension as Sunni insurgents set their sights on Baghdad and Iraqi politicians struggle to form a power-sharing government capable of tackling them.
Police found 15 corpses in different parts of the capital, security sources said. Among them were three women aged 25-30 who had been handcuffed and shot in the head execution-style in an industrial area just north of the Shi'ite Sadr City district.