Authorities found the mutilated bodies of 60 men in Baghdad in the 24-hours ending Tuesday morning, likely the latest victims of the sectarian death squads that roam the capital.
The bullet-riddled bodies all had their hands and feet bound and showed signs of torture -- hallmarks of death-squad killings, police 1st Lt Mohamed Khayon said.
The victims ranged in age from between 20 to 50-years-old, he said. Their bodies had been dumped in several neighbourhoods of the capital.
Sectarian death squads have killed thousands in recent months and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is coming under increased pressure to find an end to the violence.
Chief US military spokesman Maj Gen William B Caldwell said on Monday that there had been a spike in sectarian violence with the onset of Ramadan two weeks ago, though did not provide numbers.
"We anticipated it and we expect it to continue," Caldwell said. "The sectarian tensions in the city are high".
Meanwhile, authorities updated their casualty figures from the car bombing on Monday in Shaab, a mainly Shiite district of Baghdad, that came soon after the evening's iftar meal.
Police Captain Ali al-Obeidi said an additional three people had died, bringing the casualty totals to 13 killed and 46 wounded.