A gang of gunmen wearing military-style uniforms has killed 25 police officers in a carefully planned early morning shooting spree in western Iraq, officials said.
The killings began with the gang kidnapping two police commanders from their homes in the western Iraqi city of Haditha at around 2am on Monday. It ended with the gang raising the flag of al-Qaida at a police checkpoint in the latest bloody strike against Iraq's security forces.
Officials in Haditha, 140 miles north-west of Baghdad, described a systematic plot to kill city police, with attackers disguising themselves in military uniforms and driving cars painted to look like Iraqi interior ministry vehicles.
Both of the commanders were roused from their homes by gunmen claiming they had warrants for their arrests, said Mohammed Fathi, spokesman for the governor of Iraq's western Anbar province.