Gunmen killed 22 Iraqi Shi'ite visitors in an ambush in the Sunni heartland province of Anbar on Monday, a police official said.
The visitors were travelling from the southern Iraqi city of Kerbala to Syria when they were shot at a checkpoint set up by the gunmen, said Major General Hadi Razij, head of Anbar police.
"There was a big bus and a mini bus containing 30 people, including 22 men and 8 women," he told Reuters. "They took the men and they left the women. They killed the 22 men."
A security source in Anbar police said the incident took place south of the town of Rutba, 360 km (225 miles) west of Baghdad.
The source said the remaining visitors, including 15 women, 12 children and two elderly men, had been put in the care of the head of Kerbala's provincial council.
ReutersLast Mod: 13 Eylül 2011, 15:54