BAGHDAD, Iraq (AFP) - Gunmen have killed at least 127 people in
Iraq in sectarian violence that flared after the bombing of a revered Shiite shrine and reprisal attacks on Sunni mosques.
Amid warnings that sectarian violence could spiral further out of control, Iraqi political leaders went into an emergency meeting with President Jalal Talabani.
The bloodshed is likely to complicate the task of Shiite and Sunni political leaders who have pledged to set up a government of national unity in the wake of the December elections which illustrated a deep sectarian split in Iraq.
Eighty bullet-ridden corpses were brought to the Baghdad morgue between Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, the deputy director of the morgue, Doctor Kais Mohammed, told AFP.
"I've only been able to carry out autopsies on 25 of them," he said, adding that all had been shot. The bodies, which had been dumped in Baghdad and its suburbs, could not immediately be identified.
Another 47 bodies of men shot to death were discovered along with 10 burned out cars alongside a road near Nahrawan, southeast of Baghdad, police said.
The corpses were found near a brick factory and it was not immediately known if the victims were workers from the factory.
Iraq has already placed its security forces on high alert and cancelled all leave. The night curfew in Baghdad was brought forward from 11:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Wednesday.
The upsurge in killings came after suspected Al-Qaeda linked militants Wednesday morning bombed the 1,000-year-old Imam Ali al-Hadi mausoleum, one of the countries' main Shiite shrines, in the town of Samarra, north of Baghdad.
It's only going to get worse. The US will not be able to stop this, not enough troops in Iraq.