May 23, 2006

Mutilated and killed, Iraqi boy is sectarian victim

by Michael Georgy
Baghdad's sectarian hit squads don't spare the young.
The family of 12-year-old Hani Saadoun has been traumatized by that reality since his tortured body, mutilated by electric drills, was found on Tuesday. They had been in a state of fear since he failed to return home for lunch a day earlier.

It seems gunmen in three cars cornered him as he headed to work, helping out at his father's parking lot, Interior Ministry sources and relatives said.

The Shi'ite family starting panicking when he had not turned up by Monday evening. By the time they learned of his fate on Tuesday he was just another statistic in Iraq's packed morgues.

The sense of loss mixed with shock as details of his brutal ordeal, shared by many dozens every day, became clear.

Saadoun's body was found dumped in southern Baghdad's violent, mostly Sunni Arab, district of Dora. It bore the hallmarks of sectarian tit-for-tat killings that have exploded since the bombing of a Shi'ite shrine in February.

The youngster, with a bullet hole in his head and another through the chest, was blindfold and his hands bound. He had been whipped with cables, tormented by electric drills and his body dragged through the streets behind a car.

There was no way of ruling out other possible reasons for his death. He could have been the victim of one of Iraq's bloody tribal feuds or criminal gangs. But one conclusion predominates in a country becoming familiar with corpses dumped by the road.
Story continues here...


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