Iraq: Call for action against murderers of women in Baghdad
The next day, when her husband erected a huge tent near his house to receive mourners, the gunmen ordered the husband not to hold funeral rites, and torched the tent, al-Suhail said.
"We [in parliament] have been receiving such complaints recently. The problem is that these incidents are being registered against unknown persons, and some families are afraid to report them to the police," she said.
"We call on government security forces to launch a thorough investigation when people report such incidents and arrest the perpetrators. Those who are behind such crimes must be punished," she said.
Residents of the Shia neighbourhood of al-Salam who spoke on condition of anonymity as they fear reprisals, said Shia militiamen in the Mahdi Army loyal to radical leader Moqtada al-Sadr were behind the killings.
"They accuse them [the women victims] of different things such as prostitution, or of being informants for Iraqi and US forces, or of not wearing a headscarf or wearing Western clothes," a resident told IRIN.
The Iraqi Interior Ministry refused to comment on the murders in al-Salam neighbourhood.
Government forces, backed by US and British forces, have been fighting the Mahdi Army militia in Basra since 25 March. The fighting has now spread to all southern provinces and Baghdad.
23 April 2008
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