Senior officer, paramilitary group member killed in Iraq

14:29, April 29, 2011      

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Gunmen assassinated a senior Iraqi army officer and an Awakening Council group member in Baghdad and the eastern province of Diyala Thursday, police said.

Brigadier General Mohammed Alaa Hussien, from the Iraqi air forces, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen using pistols fitted with silencers while he was driving his car in Baghdad's western district of al-Ghazaliya, an Interior Ministry source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Hussien's killing, apparently, is part of wave of assassinations by insurgent groups and gangs against Iraqi security members and civilians. The groups' tactics include suicide bombings, gunfire by silenced weapons and sticky bombs attached to vehicles.

In Diyala, gunmen opened fire from their AK-47 assault rifles on a member of a local Awakening Council group and killed him in the town of Buhruz, south of the provincial capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, a source from the Diyala's operations command told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The Awakening Council group, or al-Sahwa in Arabic, consists of paramilitary 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.

In a separate incident, Iraqi security forces captured an Iraqi army Captain in his home south of Baquba over suspicions of having links with militant groups, the source said.

In addition, Iraqi security forces conducted search operations across the province during the past 24 hours and arrested six suspects, including a local Qaida leader, the source added.

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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