Gunmen have killed 25 women and wounded at least eight people when they stormed two buildings in a residential Baghdad compound reputedly used for prostitution.
“Twenty-five women were killed and eight people wounded, among them four men, when gunmen stormed two buildings in a residential compound in Zayouna in east Baghdad,” an Interior Ministry official said.
A senior police officer, who said the attackers used silenced weapons, gave the same death toll but reported 11 wounded.
“Unidentified gunmen stormed building number 43 in Zayouna, killing 10 women and wounding five,” a police colonel said, speaking on Saturday on condition of anonymity.
“They also stormed building number 44, where they killed 15 women and wounded six men.”
An AFP correspondent on the scene said police cordoned off the area and witnesses said several people were arrested in the aftermath of the killings.
“This is the fate of any prostitution,” read an inscription on the door of one of the raided buildings.
Residents said police and soldiers were manning the street’s sole access point.
The identities of the killers were not immediately clear but similar raids killed 12 people in May 2013 and three women two months later in the same mainly Shi’ite neighbourhood of the Iraqi capital.
Shi’ite militias have become more active on the streets of Baghdad since Sunni militants led by jihadist fighters took over large swathes of eastern and northern Iraq a month ago.