21 killed, 45 injured in Iraq violence

Baghdad, April 13: At least 21 people were killed and 45 wounded in separate violent attacks across Iraq Saturday, police and medical sources said.

In Iraq’s western province of Anbar, fierce clashes erupted in southern the provincial capital city of Ramadi, some 110 km from Baghdad, between Iraqi soldiers and gunmen, leaving eight militants killed and eight soldiers wounded, Xinhua citing police source as saying.

In Ramadi, gunmen disguised in army uniforms shot dead a police officer and two policemen in central city, before they fled the scene.

Also in the province, three civilians were killed and 14 wounded by the army artillery shelling on several neighbourhoods in the besieged city of Fallujah, some 50 km from Baghdad, a hospital source said.

In Baghdad, four policemen were wounded in a roadside bomb explosion near their patrol in Doura district, an interior ministry source said.

In Diyala province, a car bomb blast at a residential area, some 65 km from Baghdad, left three people killed, including two children, and 19 people wounded while damaging six houses, local police source said.

Meanwhile, three gunmen believed to be linked to ISIL were killed in a clash with Iraqi security forces near the city of Udheim, some 60 km from Baquba, the source said.

In addition, a member of a government-backed Sahwa paramilitary group was shot dead by gunmen at a village near Baquba, the source added.

The violence came just 18 days ahead of the landmark parliamentary elections April 30, which is the first in the country since the withdrawal of US troops in late 2011.