This story was discussed on this forum. Here is an update. It is actually getting stranger
First there were reports that as many as 200 people were being held hostage in the mixed Sunni-Shia village of Madain.
Iraqi government security forces backed by US troops arrived in strength on Monday. They encountered no resistance and found no trace of hostages or hostage-takers. There followed articles that the hostage reports may have been exaggerated.
Yesterday there were reports that 50 bodies had been pulled from the river. This of course was thought to confirm the original hostage story.
The BBC reports that the story is even more complicated. The 50 plus bodies didn’t show up all at once:
They said they had started to appear in the al-Suwayra stretch of the Tigris nearly two months earlier, on 27 February. On the first three days, 27 bodies were retrieved, while during and after the supposed hostage crisis only six corpses were pulled from the river.
But in the 26 days between 26 March and 20 April, there was a steady flow of cadavers. A total of 33 were retrieved during that period, an average of just over one a day.
The police statistics said that of 60 bodies 56 were men, two women and two children. Fifty-three had died of gunshot wounds, five had their throats cut and two were beheaded.
Only seven of the corpses were identified by relatives.
So the identity of the bulk of the victims is still not clear. It’s not known whether the victims are all Shia Muslims, abducted and murdered by Sunni militants. The killing may not have been one-sided. We may never know.
From California Yankee.