21 killed in Iraq attacks

Baghdad, March 14: As many as 21 people were killed and seven injured in violent attacks that mainly targetted security force in different parts of Iraq Thursday, police said.

In north Iraq, a suicide bomber blew up his explosive-laden car at an army base in a village near Mosul city, some 400 km from Baghdad. A soldier was killed and three wounded, Xinhua reported.

Iraqi security forces foiled an attempt by Al Qaeda militants to storm a police base in south Mosul. The troops shot dead a suicide bomber and blew up his car bomb before he could reach his target.

In Anbar province, a battalion commander and five soldiers were killed in fierce clashes with gunmen in Albu- Bali, east of the provincial capital city Ramadi, about 110 km west of Baghdad. Three gunmen were also killed.

In a separate incident, a suicide bomber rammed his explosive- laden car into an army checkpoint and blew it up on a bridge in the city of Rawa, some 165 km west of Ramadi. The attack killed four soldiers and wounded two others, destroying parts of the bridge.

Separately, a policeman was shot dead near his house in the western part of the city of Tikrit, the capital of Salahudin province.

In the early hours of the day, gunmen broke into the house of a member of the government-backed Sahwa paramilitary group, and killed him and his wife.

In Baghdad, a car bomb was detonated outside the house of a defence ministry officer in Zaiyounah district in east-central part of the capital, causing damages to the house without human casualty.

In Diyala province, gunmen shot dead an owner of a restaurant in the city of Maqdadiyah.

In another incident, gunmen shot dead a member of the government-backed Sahwa paramilitary group in the town of Wajihiyah.

Meantime, an intelligence officer was gunned down by armed men when he was driving at a road intersection in Baquba

Also in the province, a policeman and his wife were wounded when gunmen blew up a bomb in their house in the town of Buhruz.