12 killed in Iraq guerrilla attacks
BAGHDAD: Guerrilla attacks killed at least 12 people in Iraq on Tuesday as a resurgence in violence piled pressure on politicians struggling to form a government more than 11 weeks after elections.
Insurgents opened fire on members of Iraq’s National Guard in Khaldiya, a restive town west of Baghdad, killing five people and wounding four.
In Baghdad, a suicide car bomber killed four National Guards in the Athamiya district, the police and hospital officials said. Thirty-eight people were wounded in the blast. Al Qaeda’s wing in Iraq, led by Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, said a member of its “martyrs’ brigade” carried out the attack, according to a statement posted on the Internet.
Gunmen also killed Baghdad University professor Fouad al- Bayati on Tuesday, riddling his car with bullets as he drove to work, police said. The US military said a 51-year-old male detainee held at Camp Bucca in southern Iraq died of what appeared to be natural causes on Tuesday. The military said it was investigating the death as part of a “normal course of action”.
As politicians debated renewed violence, an Iraqi lawmaker accused a US soldier of grabbing him by the throat and shoving him to the ground after he parked his car in Baghdad’s Green Zone. Fattah al-Sheikh, an independent politician, said he had parked his car ahead of a session of parliament when US troops approached him and told him he didn’t have the right permit.
“I don’t speak English and so I said to the Iraqi translator with them, ‘Tell them that I am a member of parliament’, and he replied, ‘To hell with you, we are Americans,’” Sheikh told parliament. The US military said it was investigating the incident.
Iraqi Interior Ministry officials said a senior official was assassinated in his home on Monday, adding they had misidentified the official earlier. They named the dead man as Major-General Adnan Midhish Kharagoli, an adviser to the defence minister. He was killed along with his nephew when 10 gunmen burst into his Baghdad home.
Iraqi security forces began on Tuesday to scale back their search operation in Madain at the tip of Iraq’s “Triangle of Death,” where reports that Sunni militants had taken up to 100 Shia hostage turned out to be false.
The reports had startled the entire nation, including the country’s new National Assembly, raising fears that such a crisis could set off Sunni-Shia fighting in Iraq. The search was launched by hundreds of security forces on Monday inside Madain to root out Sunni insurgents in Madain. They found weapons and car bombs but no hostages.
On Tuesday, shops began to reopen in the agricultural town of about 1,000 families south of Baghdad, far fewer security forces were seen on patrol and all had been removed from rooftops.
A second Filipino worker in a week has died in Iraq, the government announced Tuesday, but it wasn’t clear if his death was related to an insurgent attack or a car accident. agencies