Source AP ©

Off-duty Iraqi policemen slaughter at least 45 Sunni residents

Off-duty Shiite policemen enraged by massive bombings in the northern town of Tal Afar went on a revenge spree against Sunni residents there on Wednesday, killing at least 45 men execution-style, police and hospital officials said.

The policemen began roaming the town's Sunni neighborhoods on foot early in the morning, shooting at Sunni residents and homes.

A senior hospital official in Tal Afar said at least 45 men ages 15 to 60 were killed with a shot to the back of the head and four others were wounded. He spoke on condition of anonymity due to security concerns.

Police said dozens of Sunnis were killed or wounded, but they had no precise figures. The shooting continued for more than two hours, the officials said.

Army troops later moved into the Sunni areas to stop the violence and a curfew was slapped on the entire town, according to Wathiq al-Hamdani, the provincial police chief and his head of operations, Brig. Abdul-Karim al-Jibouri.

Tal Afar, 418 kilometers (260 miles) northwest of Baghdad, is in the province of Ninevah of which Mosul is the capital.

"The situation is under control now," said al-Hamdani. "The local Tal Afar police have been confined to their bases and policemen from Mosul are moving there to replace them."

Al-Jibouri said he was heading to Tal Afar to take charge of the situation.

Two truck bombs hit markets in Tal Afar Tuesday, killing at least 63 and wounding 150.

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