Another 26 die in latest Iraq violence
* Pakistani driver believed killed in attack near Baghdad
* Group threatens to kill German hostages in Iraq
BAGHDAD: At least 26 people were killed, including an Iraqi police colonel, and 36 wounded in the latest wave of violence across Iraq on Monday.
A suicide bomber detonated an explosives belt on Monday in a line of people waiting to receive government payments, killing 15 people and wounding about 30, including children, police said.
Eleven other people were killed in attacks elsewhere, including five members of a Shia religious party and four policemen, among them a colonel.
The suicide attack occurred in a mostly Shia eastern district of Baghdad as people lined up at a bank on Monday morning to receive government checks to compensate for food rations, which were incomplete in the last few months.
Police Lt Ali Abbas said that the attacker joined the line and blew himself up while security guards were searching people before allowing them to enter the bank. The wounded included three children and nine women, he said.
Eight people were killed and at least 30 wounded, said police Lt Ali Mittab and Raid Jabbar, a medic at the Kindi Hospital where the victims were taken.
Elsewhere, gunmen killed three brothers and two of their sons in an attack on a street in Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, police said. All five were identified as members of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the country’s leading Shia political party, police said. A roadside bomb attack in Iskandariyah, 30 miles south of Baghdad, killed two policemen and wounded one, police said. Gunmen also shot dead a policeman protecting electricity generating facilities near a hospital in Baghdad’s Sadr City, police said.
Insurgents targeted high-ranking police officers in the volatile western city of Ramadi, killing Col Khudir Abbas al-Obeidi as he drove to work and abducting Col Bassem al-Hadithi from his car, said Lt Mohsen al-Dulaimi.
Drive-by gunmen killed Oil Ministry employee Kadim Hussein as he was driving in western Baghdad’s Amariyah suburb and another man in Karmah, 50 miles west of Baghdad, police said.
Iraq’s former electricity minister Ayham al-Samarie escaped injury when a roadside bomb exploded near his three-vehicle convoy in Baghdad, said police Lt Maitham Abdul-Razzaq. Two bodyguards were wounded. The bomb targeted the convoy of al-Samarie, a dual Iraqi-US citizen, as it passed through Baghdad’s western Mansour district, said Mohammed al-Jibouri, an official at the ex-minister’s office. The motive for the attack was not immediately clear.
Al-Samarie, a Sunni Arab political figure, was a member of the transitional government established after the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq that toppled Saddam Hussein’s regime. Al-Samarie has said that he maintains contacts with various Sunni Arab insurgents and has offered to mediate an end to the insurgency.
On Sunday, a US logistics convoy was attacked by a roadside bomb north of Baghdad, killing one civilian believed to be a Pakistani truck driver and wounding three American soldiers, the military and Iraqi police said on Monday. The attack occurred near Taji, about 12 miles north of Baghdad, where a major US air base is located, said military spokesman Maj Joseph Todd Breasseale. The three wounded soldiers were taken to a military hospital for treatment, he said. Iraqi police Lt Alaa Kamal said that the convoy consisted of three fuel tankers and another truck, which was destroyed by fire. Police found the body of the vehicle’s driver inside the truck and identity documents indicated that he was Pakistani.
Earlier on Sunday, Shia lawmakers chose Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari for another term, a move that was received with mixed reactions from potential coalition partners. Kurdish politicians expressed some disappointment, and Sunnis complained that al-Jaafari was unable to rein in Shia-led government security forces accused of abuses against Sunnis. A militant group holding two German hostages in Iraq issued what they called their final ultimatum before killing the captives unless Berlin meets their demands, Al Arabiya Television said on Monday. Arabiya aired part of a video. “An Iraqi armed group that calls itself Ansar al-Tawhid Wa-Sunna threatened to kill the two German hostages it holds in Iraq unless the German government meets their demands,” the television said. ap