28 killed in Iraq violence

Baghdad , March 8: A total of 28 people were killed and 38 others wounded in separate violent attacks, mainly targeting security forces, across Iraq Saturday, police said.

The deadliest attacks occurred in Iraq’s western province of Anbar, leaving 18 security personnel dead and 25 others wounded, including three gunmen, Xinhua reported.

In one of the attacks, a booby-trapped car was detonated near an Iraqi army force south of the provincial capital city Ramadi, some 110 km west of Baghdad. Nine soldiers were killed and 10 others were wounded.

In a separate incident, a suicide bomber drove his explosives-laden car into a joint army and police checkpoint and blew it up in north Ramadi, killing four policemen and wounding four others.

Also in the battlefield city of Ramadi, two police commandos were killed and four others wounded in a roadside bomb explosion near their patrol in the city’s northern suburb of Albu-Dhiyab.

Separately, gunmen attacked an army checkpoint in Haswa area, just east of the militant-controlled city of Fallujah, some 50 km west of Baghdad. They killed three soldiers, including an officer, and wounded four others. Three gunmen were also wounded in the clash.

Earlier in the day, a commander of an army brigade and two of his bodyguards were killed and six others wounded when two roadside bombs struck their convoy. They were conducting an operation against Al Qaeda militants at Wadi Argoub area, some 35 km north of Diyala province’s capital Baquba.

In Salahudin province, a policeman was killed and three others were wounded when gunmen attacked their checkpoint in the city of Samarra, some 120 km north of Baghdad. Two gunmen as well as two children were also killed in the crossfire at the scene.

Elsewhere, two more children were killed when a roadside bomb was detonated near the car of a member of a government-backed Sahwa paramilitary group in the city of Shirqat, some 280 km north of Baghdad. The blast also wounded the Sahwa member.

Also in the province, gunmen blew up bombs in 14 houses belonging to policemen in different parts of Salahudin province’s capital Tikrit, some 170 km north of Baghdad, causing damages to the houses and leaving three people wounded.

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

IANS