When more than 80 bodies were found last week at four different places in Iraq, a fifth gruesome discovery attracted little notice:
In the violent city of Ramadi, a center of Sunni insurgent activity 60 miles west of Baghdad, the bodies of seven men were found lined up in an unfinished house on the western outskirts of town, according to eyewitnesses.
Unlike the corpses elsewhere, which were mostly Iraqi police and soldiers, the bodies in Ramadi apparently were foreigners, fighters working for Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who has claimed responsibility for suicide bombings, kidnappings and assassinations.
Each of the seven had been shot in the head or torso. The bodies were secretly buried in a local cemetery, the witnesses said....
A notice from al-Zarqawi's group was posted on the gate outside a Ramadi mosque this week announcing the death of the seven men and calling their killers "blasphemers, far from the religion of God, who betrayed the mujaheddin after they trusted them." It vowed to find the killers, described as "followers of the occupiers," and behead them....
At the Dulaimi family compound this week in the Abu Marie neighborhood of Ramadi, Sulaiman's father, Hamad Dulaimi, 73, sat on a bench as a group of children played in the yard. The surrounding streets and rooftops were crowded with armed men.
"These are the children of Sulaiman, who was killed by those bastards," he said.
Sulaiman's wife joined him: "Now we can talk, because we got revenge," she said.
"If I didn't know that my son was innocent, I wouldn't have sent his cousins for revenge," the father said. "But for we Arabs, the matter of revenge is like honor. Both are the same for us."
As for al-Zarqawi's promise to retaliate, he said: "We got our revenge, and we have our precautions. Let them do as they like."