Monday, February 27, 2006

MORE THAN 1,300 IRAQIS HAVE DIED just in the last several days since the Feb. 22 bombing of the Askariya mosque, one of the oldest, holiest Shia shrines still in existence.

... [This makes] the past few days the deadliest of the war outside of major U.S. offensives, according to Baghdad's main morgue. The toll was more than three times higher than the figure previously reported by the U.S. military and the news media.

Hundreds of unclaimed dead lay at the morgue at midday Monday -- blood-caked men who had been shot, knifed, garroted or apparently suffocated by the plastic bags still over their heads. Many of the bodies were sprawled with their hands still bound -- and many of them had wound up at the morgue after what their families said was their abduction by the Mahdi Army, the Shiite militia of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

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