The term "death squads" evokes an unequaled panic among Iraqis. Memories of the killings based on ID cards during the Iraqi civil war cannot be forgotten. The civil war erupted after the bombing of the holy Shiite shrine in Samarra in 2006, and transformed ethnically-mixed cities in Iraq — particularly Baghdad — into the biggest scene of conflict. During the war, atrocities were committed by both Sunni and Shiite armed groups, including exchange killings and forcibly displacing people to different neighborhoods.
In turn, the death squads were the most ambiguous aspect of the war. They carried out kidnappings and killings by wearing Iraqi police uniforms, and traveling in official and military vehicles in 2006-2007 — while an evening curfew was in place (from midnight to 6 a.m.) — to hunt for their victims.