At least 26 killed in Iraq attacks
BAGHDAD: At least 26 people were killed on Sunday in Iraq, including nine Shias in sectarian attacks on two Baghdad families, a security official said. Also, police found the bodies of 60 more apparent victims of sectarian killings gripping the capital.
In the attack on the families, gunmen broke into a home in the southwestern Jihad neighbourhood and killed five Shias brothers, one of them a policeman, after separating them from their sisters, the official said.
The women were unharmed.
In another similar attack, gunmen entered a house of another Shias family in the same area and killed a man and his three sons.
“Both were Shias families,” the official said, suggesting the attack was sectarian in nature and carried out by Sunni extremists.
The two families were unrelated, the official added, and it was not known whether the gunmen were from the same group.
Five people were killed and six wounded in clashes between Shias militiamen and members of the Sunni Janabat tribe in the nearby Al-Amil neighbourhood on Sunday.
The official added that the area had now been secured by Iraqi police.
Southwestern Baghdad is a mixture of affluent Sunnis, poor Shias and then farther to the south, Sunni tribesmen — resulting in constant clashes between Sunni and Shias gunmen.
In the restive province of Diyala, northeast of Baghdad, nine people were killed on Sunday, police said. Seven of those, including a policeman, were shot in a series of attacks in the provincial capital of Baquba, while in Abu Saida gunmen killed two children.
Five other people, three of them children, were wounded in the Abu Saida attack, police said, adding that they were all in the same car.
Police Colonel Yarub Khazal from the security team of former deputy prime minister Ahmed Chalabi was shot dead by gunmen as he was driving his car in west Baghdad’s Yarmuk neighbourhood, the security official added.
In the same area a roadside bomb exploded as an Iraqi army patrol passed, wounding three soldiers.
In the central city of Tikrit police said gunmen shot dead a security guard from a local hospital while he was on his way to work, while in the northern oil city of Kirkuk gunmen shot dead a barber.
The US military said joint US and Iraqi forces launched an operation in Baghdad’s restive northern Sunni district of Adhamiyah on Sunday to try to “reduce sectarian violence and insurgency activities.” agencies