BAGHDAD — Attackers disguised in military uniforms killed seven anti-Al Qaeda militiamen in Iraq early on Friday as antigovernment protests once again raged in Iraq’s Sunni provinces.
The militiamen, members of the Sahwa group, were killed outside the town of Tuz Khormato, about 130 miles north of Baghdad. Police said they were lured to a checkpoint where gunmen overpowered them, tied them up, and executed each with a gunshot to the head. Sahwa joined forces with US troops to fight Al Qaeda during the Iraq war. Ever since, it has been a target for Sunni insurgents who consider members to be traitors.
Elsewhere, in a northern suburb of Baghdad, a car bomb killed one civilian bystander and wounded three policemen when it hit a police convoy, police said. Hospital officials confirmed the casualties. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to brief reporters.
The killings happened hours before tens of thousands of Sunnis rallied in several cities to complain about perceived discrimination by the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
They renewed threats to march on the capital if the government continues to ignore their demands, echoing comments a prominent sheik, Ahmed Abu Risha, made to the Associated Press earlier this week. Organizers considered holding mass prayers in the capital last week but later backed off after government forces sealed off approaches to the city.