updated 10/14/2006 7:30:40 AM ET 2006-10-14T11:30:40

At least 12 people were killed in violence around Iraq on Saturday, while authorities found the decapitated corpses of seven people dumped north of Baghdad in what appeared to be a sectarian revenge killing.

The bodies were found in an orchard in the city of Duluiyah late Friday.

Three had been among a group of 17 construction workers kidnapped Thursday while traveling home to the predominantly Shiite town of Balad, police said. The corpses of the other 14 were found earlier Friday, also beheaded.

The kidnapping was apparently retaliation for the abduction Wednesday of three Sunni Arabs in Duluiyah by a Shiite militia based in Balad, police said. The three were killed and their bodies burned.

In other violence, unidentified gunmen driving by in a car killed teacher Mohammed Muhsin al-Marmadhi as he was leaving his home in Diwaniyah, 80 miles south of Baghdad, police said.

A Shiite family of four was killed in Mahmoudiya, about 20 miles south of Baghdad, by unidentified assailants wearing military-style uniforms who stormed into their house around dawn.

Seven other people were killed in a mortar attack near Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, provincial police said. Five others were wounded in the attack on the village of al-Rasoul.

In southern Baghdad, meanwhile, a technician for government-run al-Iraqiya television station was killed in a drive-by shooting Friday night, police said.

Video: Voicing skepticism Raed Qais al-Shammari had been standing near his home talking with a friend when he was shot by an unidentified gunman from a car in the violence-wracked Dora neighborhood, Lt. Maitham Abdul Razzaq said.

His death was the latest in a string of attacks on Iraqi media workers. On Thursday, 11 people were killed at Baghdad’s private Shaabiya television station. Shiite militiamen are suspected to have carried out that attack, possibly due to perceptions that the newly formed station was backing their Sunni-Arab rivals.

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