By Richard Tomkins, Radio Free Europe

ZAHAMM, IRAQ — Villagers digging in an abandoned pomegranate orchard in the Diyala River Valley have unearthed the remains of at least 52 people murdered by Al-Qaeda in Iraq during its two-year reign of terror in the area.

The first victim, whose head had been placed at his feet, was found on March 26 by a local village head and a U.S. Army officer who had been given the orchard’s location by a man who said he had been kidnapped by Al-Qaeda last August and taken to a “jail” there, but managed to escape before execution.

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