BAGHDAD — A mass grave containing about 100 bodies was discovered Saturday in a region north of Baghdad that has seen years of intense fighting between Shiites and Sunni extremist members of al-Qaida in Iraq.
The grave, near Khalis in Diyala province about 50 miles north of Baghdad, is still being investigated, but the U.S. military said the skeletal remains appear to have been there for a long time. It was not immediately clear how the people had died, the military said.
Police Col. Sabah al-Ambaqi said the grave was discovered in an orchard near al-Bu Tumaa, a Sunni village outside Khalis. He said authorities including Iraqi and U.S. forces were conducting a search when they uncovered the site.
Khalis is a Shiite town surrounded by Sunni communities and has been the scene of repeated sectarian attacks. Al-Qaida in Iraq is active in the area, which has seen hundreds of kidnapping and mass abductions in past years.
Hundreds of mass graves have been discovered in Diyala and elsewhere in Iraq since U.S.-led forces overthrew Saddam Hussein in 2003.
VISIT TO turkey: Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said Saturday in Ankara that he wants a strategic partnership with Turkey, including getting Turkish businesses to invest in Iraq. His visit was aimed at easing the tension caused by Turkey's eight-day military incursion against Kurdish rebels inside Iraq.
NEW VIOLENCE: Police in Diyala province reported two separate bombings Saturday in which six people were killed.
U.S. SOLDIER KILLED: An American soldier was killed and another was injured in an explosion during operations in Diyala on Friday, the military said.