Gunmen assassinate local official in Iraq province

09:07, January 30, 2011      

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Gunmen fatally shot an official of a town in the Iraqi eastern province of Diyala on Saturday while Iraqi security forces captured nine suspects across the province, a police source said.

Abdul-Rahman Jum'a, a senior official in the town hall in al-Abbarah area, near Diyala's capital city of Baquba, was killed near his home by unidentified gunmen, a source from the provincial operations command told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

In a separate incident, a civilian was seriously wounded by gunmen who stormed his house in the Sendiyah area in north of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, the source said.

In addition, Iraqi security forces conducted search operations across the province during the past 24 hours and arrested nine suspects, including two believed to be Qaida militants, he said.

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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