Leader of paramilitary groups escapes bomb attack

10:33, March 10, 2010      

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The leader of anti al-Qaida groups in Iraq's volatile province of Diyala survived with wounds a bomb explosion that killed his daughter on Tuesday, a provincial police source said.

Hussam al-Majmaie, leader of the Awakening Councils groups in Diyala province, was driving his car with his 3-year-old daughter when a bomb stuck to his car detonated, killing his daughter and wounding him, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The blast occurred outside the al-Hadidah village near the provincial capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, the source said.

Previously, Majmaie had escaped four assassination attempts as his government-backed fighters have been fighting fierce battles against al-Qaida militants in Diyala province.

The Awakening Councils are 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.

Diyala province, which stretches from the eastern edges of Baghdad to the Iranian border east of the country, has long been a stronghold for al-Qaida militants and other insurgent groups since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 despite repeated U.S. and Iraqi military operations against them.

Source: Xinhua
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