Baghdad, Iraq - Iraqi police Tuesday found the bodies of 24 people who had apparently been tortured and shot before being dumped in two separate locations in Baghdad, police said.

Eleven bullet-riddled corpses, with their hands and legs bound, were found near a school in the Shiite dominated Maalif neighbourhood in southern Baghdad, police 1st Lieutenant Mutaz Salahiddin said.

Police found another the bodies of another 13 people, believed to have been aged between 25 and 35, dumped behind a Shi'a mosque in the Turath neighbourhood in western Baghdad, said police 1st Lieutenant Maitham Abdul-Razaq.

He said the bodies were all handcuffed, showed signs of torture and had been shot in the head.

None of the corpses had been identified.

Sectarian violence between Shiites and Sunnis has been sweeping Iraq, especially Baghdad, although authorities say there has been a drop in the number of deaths in the capital following a massive security operation this month.

Kidnappings of people of one sect by militias of the other sect have become common in the tit-for-tat cycle of violence that started after a February 22 bombing of a Shi'a mosque in Samarra. - Sapa-AP