Police found four hanged men dangling from electricity pylons in a Baghdad Shiite slum Monday, hours after car bombs and mortars shells ripped through teeming market streets, killing at least 58 people and wounding more than 200.
The grim scene underscored fears Sunday’s bloody assault on a stronghold of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr would plunge Iraq into another frenzy of sectarian killing.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said terrorists bent on igniting a civil war were taking advantage of a vacuum in authority caused by tangled negotiations to form a new government.
“The way in which this bloody act was conducted leaves us with no doubt that the terrorists have targeted this peaceful neighborhood in order to ignite civil strife and stoke the fire of civil war,” Talabani said in a statement. “So, it is the duty of the political groups to accelerate efforts to form the government, and the armed forces and security bodies should act swiftly to eliminate such crimes.
Addressing reporters in the Shiite holy city of Najaf, the anti-American cleric al-Sadr avoided blaming Sunni Muslims for the attacks and appealed for unity Monday. He instead blamed feared terror group al-Qaida in Iraq and US forces…