Hilla (Iraq) : Iraqi security forces found the bodies of 53 men on Wednesday who had been bound and executed in the capital, police and medical officials said, reports AFP. The men were found in orchards south of Babil provincial capital Hilla, all with gunshots to the head or chest, in killings reminiscent of the brutal sectarian bloodshed that gripped Iraq in 2006-7.

A mortuary official said the victims were killed at least a week ago. It was not immediately clear why the men were killed, the officials said. Although attacks have taken place in Babil province during a jihadist-led offensive that overran swathes of territory north and west of Baghdad last month, the area where the bodies were found was not close to the sites of other recent violence.

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