1500+ women and children found in Iraq mass grave May 09, 2005 7:29 PM
Hundreds found in Iraq mass grave
Women and children were gunned into the trenches, investigators say
Experts have examined a mass grave containing what are believed to be the bodies of some 1,500 Kurds, mostly women and children, in southern Iraq.
It is thought they were lined up and then gunned down into the 18 shallow trenches found near the town of Samawa.
The victims are believed to have been killed in the late 1980s after being forcibly moved from northern Iraq.
The evidence uncovered is expected to be used in the trials of Saddam Hussein and his senior aides.
Of 113 bodies taken out of the ground so far, all but five are women and children.
They have been identified as Kurds from their distinctive clothing. Investigators said they were wrapped in many layers, which suggested they knew they were being moved somewhere.
At least one is believed to have been an old woman. There are false teeth in the skull.
Another skeleton is thought to belong to a teenage girl, still carrying a bag of possessions.
Iraqi officials say there are nearly 300 suspected mass grave sites around the country. But, more than two years since the war, this one is only the second to be properly investigated.
The site near Samawa, some 300km south of Baghdad, was first identified last year, but proper examination did not begin until early this month.
The evidence it provides will be used by a special tribunal set up to try Saddam Hussein and other senior Iraqi officials for war crimes.
No date has yet been set for any of the trials. Officials say their work has been hampered by lack of funds and expertise as well as security problems.
Car Bombs Hit Iraq Restaurant, Mosque
Twin Car Bombings in Iraq Kill at Least 17, Outside Restaurant Then at Mosque South of Baghdad
By PAUL GARWOOD Associated Press Writer
BAGHDAD, Iraq May 23, 2005 — A car bomb blew up Monday outside a Shiite mosque in a town south of Baghdad, killing at least 10 people and injuring another 30, authorities said.
Hours earlier, a car bomb exploded at a Baghdad restaurant popular with police, killing at least seven people and wounding at least 82, and militants assassinated a top national security official.
The car bomb in the busy Talibia neighborhood was detonated outside the Habayibna restaurant at a time when police officers usually meet there for lunch, said police Lt. Zaid Tarek.
"All these people were killed for no reason. What wrong did they do by being policemen or soldiers?" shaken restaurant owner Mshari Hassan said shortly after the blast.
Casualties were taken to three Baghdad hospitals. Al-Kindi hospital received three dead and 54 injured, according to its admission records.
Another three dead and 13 injured were taken to Al-Sadr hospital, director Rahim al-Majidi said. At least 10 more wounded were taken to Imam Ali hospital and five to the Medical City hospital.
The second deadly car bombing occurred at 8 p.m. (noon EST) in front of the Abul-Fadl Abbas mosque in Mahmoudiya, about 20 miles south of Baghdad, Lt. Odai al-Zayadi said.
Dawoud al-Tai, director of the Mahmoudiya general hospital, said 10 bodies and 30 wounded people were brought to his facility.
Before the restaurant bombing, two carloads of gunmen killed Maj. Gen. Wael al-Rubaei, a top national security official, and his driver in Baghdad's latest drive-by shooting.
Al-Qaida in Iraq, the group run by Jordanian terrorist mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, claimed responsibility for killing al-Rubaei in a statement posted on an Internet site used by the group. The claim's authenticity could not be verified.
Al-Rubaei's killing came a day after another senior government official, Trade Ministry auditing office chief Ali Moussa, was killed as part of an ongoing terror campaign that has killed more than 550 people in less than a month.