15 killed in Iraqi violence

Baghdad, April 1: At least 15 people were killed and 26 wounded in separate attacks across the country Monday, police and medical sources said.

In Anbar province, artillery and mortar shelling on several neighbourhoods in the besieged city of Fallujah, some 50 km from Baghdad, left eight people killed and 16 wounded, Xinhua quoted a hospital source as saying.

Separately, gunmen shot dead two people and wounded three others in the city of Haditha, some 200 km from Baghdad, while gunmen shot dead a counter-terrorism officer in the city of Heet, a provincial police source said.

Anbar province has been the scene of fierce clashes that flared up after Iraqi police dismantled an anti-government protest site outside Ramadi in late December last year.

In northern Iraq, an army officer, a soldier and a shop owner were gunned down when armed men using silenced weapons opened fire on them inside a shop in the northern part of the city of Mosul, a police source said.

In addition, a car bomb went off near an army checkpoint in eastern Mosul, leaving a soldier dead and seven people injured, the source said.

According to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, a total of 8,868 Iraqis, including 7,818 civilians and civilian police personnel, were killed in 2013, the highest annual death toll in years.

IANS