22 Shias were killed by insurgents on Monday night while traveling on a pilgrimage to Syria from Iraq, said Tuesday a senior official of the Iraqi holy city of Karbala.
After separating the pilgrims of women and children, "armed men dressed in military clothes and uniform police have drawn up a dam, have revealed the men prior to slaughter and escape. All bodies are now in the morgue of Karbala, "the source said, quoted by Agence France-Presse.
110 km south of Baghdad a bus leaves Kerbala with Shiite pilgrims aboard. Before reaching the Iraqi-Syrian border, he must cross a desert area in the Sunni province of Al Anbar. The attack occurred at Nukhaïb, 200 km west of Karbala, on a side street leading to the border.
"It was 21 pm (18 am GMT) when we were stopped at a checkpoint. Men in army uniform boarded the bus and told us they had been attacked and asked us to hand over our mobile phones, what we did, "said one of the survivors, Oum Thaer, who lost her husband in the attack.
"They then asked, again very politely, the men get off to a search, and they complied. Then we heard shots and a few women who were off the bus started screaming when they saw the bloodied body, "she said.
After the arrival of U.S. troops in 2003, the Sunni province of Anbar has been a strong bastion of Al Qaeda. Many Iraqis and foreigners traveling the road to reach Jordan or Syria were killed.