11 killed in separate violent attacks across Iraq

11 killed in separate violent attacks across Iraq
# 15 April 2014 17:26 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Eleven people were killed and 31 others wounded in separate violent attacks across Iraq on Tuesday, while the Iraqi Justice Ministry blocked Abu Ghraib prison in the west of the capital Baghdad over security concerns, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

In Iraq's western province of Anbar, two policemen were killed and four others wounded when a suicide bomber blew up his explosive-belt at al-Aziziyah police station in central the provincial capital city of Ramadi, some 110 km west of Baghdad, a provincial police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Also in Ramadi, several mortar rounds struck al-Fursan police station in central the city, leaving seven civilians and two policemen injured, the source said.

Separately, four civilians were killed and 15 others wounded by artillery shelling on several neighborhoods in the besieged city of Fallujah, a medical source from the city hospital told Xinhua.

Anbar province has been the scene of fierce clashes that flared up after Iraqi police dismantled an anti-government protest site outside Ramadi in last December.

Elsewhere, gunmen attacked an army checkpoint in the eastern part of the city of Mosul, some 400 km north of Baghdad, sparking fierce clash which resulted in the killing of two gunmen, a local police source anonymously told Xinhua.

In Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, three gunmen were killed when they attacked an army outpost and clashed with the soldiers in north of the provincial capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, a provincial police source told Xinhua.

Also in the province, three civilians, including a seven-year- old child, were wounded in two roadside bomb explosions near Baquba, the source said.

The escalation of violence across the country pushed the Iraqi Justice Ministry to evacuate thousands of inmates from Abu Ghraib prison in west of Baghdad as part of precautions in the area adjacent to the volatile province of Anbar.

"The ministry completed the transfer of 2,400 prisoners, including those convicted of terrorist acts, to other prisons in the central and northern provinces," the ministry said in a statement.

Abu Ghraib prison was the scene of a major prison break in last July when about 500 inmates, most were believed to be al-Qaida militants, escaped after hundreds of gunmen attacked the prison and Taji prison, just north of Baghdad, simultaneously.

The statement said the decision came "within precautionary measures" as Baghdad Central Prison, known as Abu Ghraib prison, is located at an unstable area in west of Baghdad.

Observers see that the militant groups, including powerful Sunni tribal fighters of Anbar province, have recently opened new battlefronts with Iraqi security forces in an attempt to reduce the pressure on their cities of Ramadi and Fallujah by pushing into Baghdad.

The violence came just 15 days ahead of the landmark parliamentary elections on April 30, which is the first in the country since the withdrawal of U.S. troops in late 2011.

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