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Seven Pro-Government Militiamen Killed In Iraq

Gunmen in northern Iraq have executed seven members of a Sunni militia established to combat Al-Qaeda militants in the country.

The assailants arrived at a checkpoint on February 22 near the village of Halaiwat, some 170 kilometers north of Baghdad and captured eight members of the Sahwa militia.

A police officer told the AFP news agency that the gunmen were dressed in military uniforms.

The Sahwa militiamen were taken to another location and executed. One Sahwa member survived and is described as being in critical condition.

The Sahwa militia's 41,000 fighters are paid by the Iraqi government.

In January, the government announced they would receive a 60 percent pay increase to about $415 a month.

Sahwa fighters are frequently targeted by other Sunni militants who consider them traitors.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa