Gunmen have attacked two Shi'ite families in a largely Sunni area south of Baghdad, killing 16. The attack took place shortly before midnight in the town of Al-Latifiyah.
Iraqi officials said the gunmen first opened fire on the two houses and then blew them up. Six children, five women, and five men were killed, while nine people were wounded. No one has claimed responsibility.
An increase in violence between Iraq's minority Sunni Muslims and Shi'a has sparked fears of a return to the sectarian fighting that engulfed the country after the 2003 U.S. invasion and peaked in 2006-07.
According to UN figures released earlier this week, more than 4,000 people have been killed in Iraq over the past five months, including more than 800 killed just last month.
Based on reporting by Reuters and AP