As yet unidentified gunmen have killed at least 40 Syrian soldiers and government employees who were being taken to the Syrian border by Iraqi authorities, according to Reuters.
They were fleeing into Iraq from a Syrian rebel attack last week, Iraqi officials said.
– A senior Iraqi official speaking to Reuters.
The incident took place in Akashat when the convoy carrying the Syrian soldiers and employees was on its way to the al-Waleed border crossing.
Gunmen set up an ambush and killed 40 of them, plus some Iraqi soldiers who were protecting the convoy.
A convoy carrying Syrians was ambushed in Iraq's western province of Anbar, where thousands of Iraqi Sunnis have been protesting daily for more than two months against the Shi'ite-led government and the perceived marginalisation of their sect.
The Iraqi officials said some 65 Syrian soldiers and government employees had handed themselves over to Iraq on Friday after anti-government rebels seized the Syrian side of the Yaarabiya frontier crossing.