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Troops discover mass grave in Iraq

  • Story Highlights
  • Mass grave found north of Baghdad, includes mutilated remains of at least 16 men
  • One Iraqi killed and five people wounded by a car bomb in northern Baghdad
  • Eleven people detained in countrywide coalition raids targeting al Qaeda in Iraq
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From CNN's Jomana Karadsheh and Roya Shadravan
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraqi soldiers have found a mass grave of mutilated bodies in a restive region north of Baghdad, a local security official told CNN Thursday.

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Mourners with the coffin of a relative killed by a triple car bombing Wednesday in the city of Amara.

Elsewhere an Iraqi was killed and five people were wounded Thursday when a car bomb detonated near the Italian Embassy in northern Baghdad's Adhamiya neighborhood, an Interior Ministry official said.

And 11 people were detained in coalition raids targeting al Qaeda in Iraq and those who help foreign insurgents, the U.S. military said.

Iraqi soldiers said 12 of the bodies found north of Baghdad were beheaded and four others were mutilated. The corpses, all male, were discovered Wednesday near Muqdadiya in Diyala province north of the capital, the official, from Diyala province, said on Thursday.

He said police believe al Qaeda in Iraq left behind the mass grave.

Diyala province -- which stretches north and east of the capital and borders Iran -- has been a major scene of fighting during the U.S. and Iraqi troop escalations this year. It is one of the Baghdad "belts" with a strong insurgent presence that have been targeted by coalition and Iraqi forces over the year.

It is not the first mass grave found in and near Baghdad this autumn.

Others include a mass grave of 17 Iraqi civilians believed kidnapped at fake police checkpoints, found under a house used by insurgents near Baquba, Diyala's provincial capital -- an area where al Qaeda in Iraq has had a strong presence.

The decomposed bodies of 16 Iraqi civilians believed killed by al Qaeda in Iraq terrorists were found in early December in a shelter in central Baghdad's Fadl neighborhood.

And U.S. and Iraqi troops found 22 corpses buried in the region around Iraq's Lake Tharthar, northwest of Baghdad, in both Anbar and Salaheddin provinces.

Meanwhile the Italian Embassy confirmed the bombing in northern Baghdad's Adhamiya neighborhood which killed one person but had no further details about the incident. Three police were among the wounded when the parked car blew up, the official said.

A predominantly Sunni neighborhood, Adhamiya is one of the areas in Baghdad where an "awakening" movement has been created to maintain security. The awakening movement is the name for the anti-al-Qaeda in Iraq Sunni groups that have emerged in Iraq over the year.

The detention of the 11 people in coalition raids targeting netted, the U.S. military said, an al Qaeda in Iraq leader north of Hawija, believed to be responsible for facilitating finances and logistics for the terrorist network in the area". Five others were detained.

A "wanted individual" and three others were detained in Mosul and another person was seized in Samarra.

"Foreign terrorists who come to Iraq to support al Qaeda will find no safe haven from which they can operate," said Cmdr. Scott Rye, a Multi-National Forces-Iraq spokesman. "While they struggle to rebuild their networks, we will continue to dismantle them." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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