al sadr iraq 298 ap.
(photo credit: AP [file])
Revenge-seeking Shi'ite militiamen grabbed six Sunnis as they left Friday worship services, doused them with kerosene and burned them alive near an Iraqi army post. The soldiers did not intervene, police Capt. Jamil Hussein said.
The savage revenge attack for Thursday's slaughter of 215 people in the Shi'ite Sadr City slum occurred as members of the Mahdi Army militia burned four mosques and several homes while killing 12 other Sunni residents in the once-mixed Hurriyah neighborhood, Hussein said.
Iraq: Civil war feared after bombers kill 215
Gunmen loyal to radical anti-American Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr began taking over the neighborhood this summer and a majority of its Sunni residents already had fled.
The militiamen attacked and burned the Ahbab al-Mustafa, Nidaa Allah, al-Muhaimin and al-Qaqaqa mosques in the rampage that did not end until American forces arrived, Hussein said.
The gunmen attack with rocket-propelled grenades, heavy machine guns and automatic rifles. Residents said militiamen prevented them from entering burned structures to take away the bodies of victims.
The Shi'ite-dominated police and Iraqi military in the area stood by, both residents and Hussein said.
Later Friday, militiamen raided al-Samarraie Sunni mosque in the el-Amel district and killed two guards, police 1st. Lt. Maitham Abdul-Razaq said. Two other Sunni mosques in west Baghad also were attacked, police said.