Baghdad:  As per a Chinese News Agency report , Twenty-two Shia Muslims on board a bus were shot dead by gunmen in western Iraq .The attackers stopped the bus which was on its way from Syria to Nakhib in Anbar province on Monday, before driving it off with 22 Shia men on board. They were later shot dead.

However, Eight women and children on the bus were spared, an official from the interior ministry said requesting anonymity.

Shias have been a regular target for Sunni insurgents who are trying to revive the sectarian violence that brought Iraq to the brink of a civil war a few years ago.

The attack comes about four months before the US troops are scheduled to withdraw fully from the country.