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Nine bodies found in Iraq rivers

Written by: Staff
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BAGHDAD, June 29 (Reuters) The Tigris and Euphrates rivers, where many of Iraq's victims of insurgent and sectarian violence are dumped, yielded grisly new finds today as police fished out at least nine bodies, all tortured and shot.

Seven bodies were pulled from the Tigris River near Suwayra southeast of Baghdad. All were men in civilian clothes. They were blindfolded, had gunshot wounds and showed signs of torture, a trademark of the communal bloodshed.

Police said it was impossible to identify the men -- the river and scorching summer heat had left their bodies bloated and disfigured. They were being sent to the local morgue to await relatives looking for missing loved ones.

About 60 km (40 miles) west of Suwayra, police in the town of Mussayab retrieved two bodies on Thursday from the Euphrates. The victims had also been shot and tortured.

The Tigris has been giving up other victims of Iraq's violence in the past few days. The Ministry of Industry said 11 bodies from a group of 34 factory workers abducted north of Baghdad last week had been found, most floating in the Tigris.

Iraq has witnessed a major upsurge in sectarian violence since the Feb. 22 bombing of a Shi'ite mosque in the town of Samarra north of Baghdad.

Morgue officials say 30-50 bodies are found in Baghdad alone every day.

REUTERS CH RAI1807

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