An Al-Qaeda-linked group in Iraq claimed on Sunday it had executed 10 Shiite Muslims from India and Pakistan, according to an Internet statement.
Ansar al-Sunna claimed that the men, who it said were killed in the restive western province of Al-Anbar, had come from Iran to carry out "a special mission" for the Iraqi Shiite movement Badr.
"A convoy transporting rejectionists from India and Pakistan was ambushed in Al-Anbar region while en route to Syria," according to the statement, using a term employed by radical Sunni Islamists to refer to Shiites.
"Investigations revealed that they had come from Iran on a special mission for the Badr movement, and were leaving to their home countries through Syria," said the statement, which was accompanied by pictures of their purported identity cards.
"The mujahedeen (holy warriors) could not transfer them to another place for further investigation due to the heavy presence of American troops in the region, so they decided to execute them," it added.
The Badr Brigade is the militia of one of Iraq's top Shiite parties, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, and has officially been turned into a political movement.