The death toll in a surge of sectarian killings in Balad swelled to at least 91 on Monday, police and army officials said. Bombings and shootings in Baghdad and other parts of the country killed at least 60 others — including the brother of the chief prosecutor in the second trial of former dictator Saddam Hussein.
Five soldiers and two Marines were killed in fighting Sunday, bringing to 14 the number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq over the past three days. A total of 58 U.S. troops have been killed in the first two weeks of October.
The Marines, assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5, were killed in fighting in volatile Anbar province. Two soldiers assigned to the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, were killed in the region surrounding Kirkuk 180 miles north of Baghdad, while a third was killed when his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb outside Baghdad.
Two other soldiers, members of the 82nd Airborne Division's 3rd Brigade, died from wounds received in fighting in Salahuddin province north of Baghdad, the military said.
Sectarian fighting exploded over the weekend in Balad and nearby regions, 50 miles north of Baghdad. The bloodshed began with the slayings of 17 Shiite workers on Friday.
Shiites swiftly retaliated by setting up roadblocks, dragging off and killing those Sunnis they caught.
An army officer at provincial headquarters said authorities have counted 74 Sunnis killed since Friday.
In Bagdhad, a pair of car bombings at a Shiite funeral killed 15 people and wounded dozens of others, police said.
An explosives-packed car driven by a suicide bomber slammed into the funeral tent in eastern Baghdad's Ur neighborhood at about 5:30 p.m. (1430 GMT), Lt. Ahmed Mohammed Ali said.
Shortly afterward a second explosion from a car parked nearby ripped through a crowd of rescuers and onlookers who had rushed to the scene, Ali said.
In other developments:
In Suwayrah, 25 miles south of Baghdad, nine people were killed and 35 injured when a booby-trapped car exploded in a crowded market at about 11:00 a.m. (0800 GMT), the town's mayor, Hussein Mohammed al-Ghurabi, said.
Eight members of a Shiite family were shot to death by unidentified assailants wearing military uniform who burst into their home just after sunrise in Latifiyah, about 20 miles south of Baghdad, a local official, Muayed Fadhil Hussein, said.
The bullet-riddled bodies of 11 men were found dumped in the capital overnight, two of them found in a trash pit in Sadr City, the sprawling Shiite slum of about 2 million people
The identities of the victims, estimated to be in their early 20s and found bound and blindfolded, were not known, police Capt. Mohannad al-Bahadli said.
Each day in Baghdad brings the discovery of up to scores of such victims, most believed to have been pulled off the street or abducted from their homes by roving sectarian death squads.
Those killings have steadily worsened over recent months as Iraq's Shiite majority battles to assert its authority over the Sunni minority who held power under Saddam Hussein's former regime.
Elsewhere, a pair of bombs that exploded an hour apart on Baghdad's Rasheed Street killed one policeman. Iraqi insurgents have increasingly used secondary bombings to inflict further casualties on onlookers and rescue workers.
Gunmen also attacked a car carrying members of the oil protection force, killing one, about 14 miles southeast of Baghdad, according to Police Capt. Ali Mahdi said.
Two other roadside bomb attacks on Iraqi police patrols early Monday injured seven people.
Seven people were wounded including four policemen when a car bomb struck a patrol passing by a bakery during lunchtime in Baghdad's northeastern al-Jadida district, police Lt. Ali Abbas said.
Twelve people were killed or found dead in at least four other incidents in towns north of Baghdad. They included a policeman gunned down in a drive-by shooting and four people killed when unknown assailants fired into a crowd of civilians in the small town of al-Khalis.
One British soldier was also injured along with an Iraqi man when unidentified attackers fired a rocket propelled grenade at a British military vehicle in central Basra, 340 miles southeast of Baghdad.