A gang of gunmen wearing military-style uniforms killed 25 police Monday 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 around 2 a.m. 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 northwest 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 two commanders were rousted 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 where Haditha is located.
The commanders a captain and a colonel who served as the city's SWAT team were taken less than a quarter-mile away and shot, Haditha police said.