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Execution, body dumping site found south of Baghdad

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: 10 bodies found dumped in Baghdad, bringing total to 371 this month
  • Coalition troops find human remains, spattered blood near the capital
  • Airstrike destroys suspected car-bomb factory in Arab Jabour
  • Another bomb shop in a Red Crescent facility, military says
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The U.S. military on Saturday said coalition forces south of Baghdad found a site where people were executed and bodies dumped, as 10 more corpses were found in the Iraqi capital.

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Iraqi soldiers check cars in Baghdad's Sadr City area Saturday as a Shiite pilgrimage gets under way.

The discovery of the dumping site was made during an operation Tuesday through Thursday in the Arab Jabour area, where al Qaeda in Iraq has a presence.

"The ground forces found human skulls, decomposing bodies and bones wrapped in bloody clothes," the military said in a statement.

"Wild dogs were rampant around the area, which was characterized by a crater where most of the human remains were dumped. Inside a nearby building, the ground forces found blood spatter and other signs indicating executions had taken place there."

Including Saturday's gruesome discovery in Baghdad, the total number of dumped bodies found in the city so far this month stands at 371.

Most were thought to be victims of sectarian violence that has been raging between Sunnis and Shiites.

As they discovered the execution site south of the Iraqi capital, coalition forces, helped by local Iraqis, also found a building thought to be a car bomb factory, the military said.

"Inside the compound, the ground forces found numerous items used to make and mix homemade explosives for use in car bombs. An airstrike destroyed the explosives cache."

Insurgents fired at the arriving troops, who returned fire and killed one of them, the military said. Eight people suspected of terror activities and al Qaeda in Iraq connections were detained.

Coalition forces early Saturday killed three armed men, north of Muqdadiya in Diyala province, who drew their guns when troops raided buildings in search of al Qaeda in Iraq's local media spokesman.

Troops found bomb-making materials and detained an insurgent. Video Watch coalition troops pursue al Qaeda »

In western Baghdad, troops conducted a pre-dawn raid targeting a bombmaker who was using a Red Crescent facility.

"Coalition forces took great care to protect the facility's resources before determining the building was secure and leaving," the U.S. military said.

At least three civilians were killed and six wounded when a parked car bomb exploded Saturday afternoon in a busy commercial area in a mainly Shiite section of northern Baghdad, Iraq's Interior Ministry said.

The blast went off in the city's Kadhimiya district, home to Musa al-Kadhim, Shiite Islam's third holiest shrine.

Carts, motorcycles and bicycles were banned from Baghdad streets Saturday evening to protect Shiite pilgrims trekking south to Karbala for a pilgrimage.

The Interior Ministry said that as of 6 p.m. (10 a.m. ET) and until further notice, Iraq's capital will be under the ban.

The faithful are headed to Karbala to commemorate Sha'abaniya, the birthday of the Mehdi, the 12th imam revered by Shiites.

North of Baghdad, two separate roadside bombs killed an Iraqi soldier and a civilian Saturday in the city of Baiji, in Salaheddin province, police told CNN. The attacks also left five people hurt.

The U.S. military also announced the Wednesday arrest in northern Arab Jabour of a man described as a foreign fighter who heads a car-bombing cell network.

The man, who was not named, is an Egyptian-born militant who came to Iraq in the early 1980s and later joined al Qaeda fighters, the military said.

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"He has Iraqi citizenship and [is] believed to be a former high-ranking official of the Baath party during Saddam Hussein's reign," the military said.

Three other people also were arrested. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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