7 killed in Iraqi attacks

7 killed in Iraqi attacks
# 20 July 2013 18:33 (UTC +04:00)

In Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, Wisam Mahmoud, a local leader of a government-backed Sahwa paramilitary group, and two of his aides, were shot dead by gunmen while they were leaving Mahmoud's house in al-Gatoon area, just west of the provincial capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, a provincial police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The Sahwa militia, also known as the Awakening Council or the Sons of Iraq, consists of armed groups, including some powerful anti-U.S. Sunni insurgent groups, who turned their rifles against the al-Qaida network after the latter exercised indiscriminate killings against both Shiite and Sunni Muslim communities.

In a separate incident, a civilian was wounded in a roadside bomb explosion at al-Ameen district in the northern part of Baquba, the source said.

Meanwhile, a policeman was killed and two others were wounded in a roadside bomb explosion near their patrol outside the city of Maqdadiyah, some 40 km northeast of Baquba, the source said.

In addition, a civilian was killed and three others were wounded, including a woman, when gunmen opened fire on a car near a village in the south of Maqdadiyah, he said.

Saturday's attacks came a day after a deadly bombing at a Sunni mosque during Friday's weekly prayer in the town of Wajihiyah that killed 26 worshippers and wounded some 80 others.

Sectarian tension and reprisal killings have been running high recently between Sunni and Shiite Muslims in the volatile province of Diyala, as Sunnis and Shiites accuse each other of supporting extremists and militiamen.

In northern Iraq, a policeman was killed and another wounded by gunmen while they were shopping at a marketplace in the western part of Mosul, some 400 km north of Baghdad, a local police source anonymously told Xinhua.

Separately, a roadside bomb explosion apparently missed an Iraqi army patrol on the main road leading to Badoush prison in the west of Mosul, but wounded three civilians nearby, the source said.

Elsewhere, a civilian was killed when a magnetic bomb attached to his car detonated while he was driving in a village near the city of Shirqat, about 280 km north of Baghdad, a local police said.

Iraq is witnessing the worst eruption of violence in five years, raising fears that the latest bloodshed is leading the country back toward a full-blown civil conflict that peaked in 2006 and 2007, when monthly death toll sometimes exceeded 3,000.

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