Today’s Iraqi jihad update. “Iraqi oil official, 18 others killed,” from Reuters:
BAGHDAD – Gunmen killed an Oil Ministry official on Thursday and escalating violence claimed at least 18 more lives, fuelling fears Iraq may be moving towards civil war.
The oil official, Ali Hameed, was shot outside his home as he left for work, a police official said.
Mainly Sunni Muslim insurgents have stepped up attacks on officials and security forces since a Shi’ite-led government was announced last month. They have killed more than 500 people in a campaign that has challenged government promises of stability….
The escalation in violence has raised concerns the country could erupt into a full-scale civil war. Discoveries of people killed execution-style and dumped at various sites — 50 have been found since Saturday — have stirred sectarian passions.
Most victims were Shi’ite Muslims but some were Sunnis.
Four more bodies were found on Thursday, this time just south of Saddam Hussein’s home town of Tikrit. Police said they had been shot dead…
Zarqawi’s followers issued a new warning against Iraqi forces on Thursday in leaflets in Baiji, residents said.
“Leave your jobs within four hours otherwise you will get yourself killed,” said the leaflets hung on mosques.