New wave of attacks leave 98 casualties in Iraq

10:09, June 19, 2010      

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Iraqi insurgents on Friday launched a new wave of attacks around the country just days after the first session of the new parliament, leaving at least 15 people dead and 83 others injured.

The first major attack occurred Friday morning when three Katyusha rockets landed in a village near Abu-Graib area west of Baghdad. According to local police, four people were killed and eight were wounded.

"The attack damaged four houses, and the death toll can rise," said the police source.

In another attack, four people of a family were killed when unknown gunmen stormed their house in central Abu-Graib Friday morning, said the source.

Al-Qaida militants have always operated against members and their families of local Sahwa, a Sunni paramilitary group that fight against al-Qaida together with the Iraqi government.

Several hours later, two car bombings almost simultaneously rocked Iraq's northern province of Salahuddin and eastern Diyala province.

In Diyala, a parked car was detonated and targeted the home of Captain Mustafa al-Tamimi, one of the police officers in Baquba, 60 km northeast of Baghdad.

However, al-Tamimi was not at home when the blast occurred. Two civilians were killed and 30 others were wounded in the attack, including nine women and seven children.

"The explosion damaged al-Tamimi's house and a number of neighboring houses. The security forces later cordoned off the scene and began a raid in search of the attackers," a police source told Xinhua.

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.

On Friday afternoon, five people were killed and 45 others were injured when a bomb-rigged car exploded near a provincial council member's house in the Salahuddin province, local police said.

The explosion occurred in the town of Tuz Khurmatu, 170 km north of Baghdad. Several houses and shops were damaged, and the police later defused another bomb in the same area, he added.

Overall violence in Iraq has dropped sharply since the height of sectarian warfare in 2006-2007, but the March parliamentary election has fueled a new wave of bloodshed.

The U.S. forces have pulled out of Iraqi cities and are working to formally end combat operations by Sept. 1 of this year, cutting the U.S. military force from about 90,000 to 50,000.

Source: Xinhua


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