Gunmen killed at least 24 people in a village in southern Baghdad, Iraqi authorities said on Saturday.
Gunmen wearing military uniforms stormed three houses in a Sunni Muslim village in southern Baghdad and killed at least 24 people including women and children. At least seven people were left alive after the slaughter, their hands tied behind their backs, Baghdad security spokesman Major General Qassim al-Moussawi said.
The attack occurred late on Friday in a Sunni enclave in the Rasheed district of the Iraqi capital. A police source said the gunmen handcuffed the victims and shot them in the head.
"The incident happened in an area south of Baghdad, an area called Albusaifi, the terrorist group drove cars and killed 24 people, including five women," Moussawi said. "We have found seven people alive, handcuffed."
Moussawi said some of the victims were members of the Iraqi security forces and others of the Sons of Iraq, a group of Sunni former insurgents who joined the Iraqi government and U.S. forces.
A security source said 10 to 15 gunmen in pickup trucks were involved in the attack and targeted the victims because they were loyal to the government against al Qaeda.
The 24 victims were members of three different families, and included at least five women, a security source said.
A Reuters TV cameraman counted 25 bodies at a local hospital.
Moussawi said authorities had arrested 25 people and sealed off the area to conduct a search for other suspects.