A militant group in Iraq says it has shot to death 15 National Guardsmen who were abducted last week in Baghdad.
The Army of Ansar al-Sunna, which has kidnapped and killed Iraqi soldiers in the past, said Saturday that the Guards were "executed with bullets, after being interrogated and then confessing to what the militants called criminal acts.
A statement posted on an Islamist Internet site Saturday condemned the Iraqi security forces for collaborating with U.S. troops.
The killings by the militants would be the latest in a series of violent attacks aimed at disrupting Iraq's national elections, now just eight days away. Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has warned it will be impossible to provide full security for the elections under the present conditions.
Speaking on British television, Mr. Allawi admitted the security measures put in place so far have not been enough to prevent every attack by insurgents. His comments Friday came just hours after two car-bomb explosions targeting Shi'ite Muslims killed at least 25 people.
The Iraqi government announced additional election security measures today: Baghdad's international airport will be closed next Saturday and Sunday, and curfews will be imposed during the January 30 vote.
Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.