Sectarian threats in Iraq raise alarm
BAGHDAD – The fliers began turning up at Sunni households in the Iraqi capital's Jihad neighborhood last week bearing a chilling message: Get out now or face "great agony" soon.
The leaflets were signed by the Mukhtar Army, a new Shiite militant group with ties to Iran's Revolutionary Guard. "The zero hour has come. So leave along with your families. ... You are the enemy," the messages warned.
Such overt threats all but disappeared as the darkest days of outright sectarian fighting waned in 2008 and Iraq stepped back from the brink of civil war. Their re-emergence now -- nearly a decade after the U.S.-led invasion -- is a worrying sign that rising sectarian tensions are again gnawing away at Iraqi society.
Iraqis increasingly fear that militants on both sides of the country's sectarian divide are gearing up for a new round of violence that could undo the fragile gains Iraq has made in recent years.
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