41 killed in violent attacks across Iraq

Baghdad, April 6: At least 41 people were killed and 35 others wounded in violent incidents across Iraq Saturday, mainly in the western province of Anbar, police said.

Fifteen Iraqi soldiers were killed in an explosion at a booby-trapped house in the Garma area near Fallujah in Anbar province, some 50 km west of the capital Baghdad, Xinhua reported.

One soldier was killed and two others wounded in an armed attack on an army patrol in Baghdad’s southwestern area of Radwaniya.

Earlier in Anbar province, an Iraqi army force clashed with militants linked to Daash militant group in al-Malahmah area near Khaldiyah town, some 80 km west of Baghdad, killing 11 militants and wounding 18 others, the provincial joint command said in a statement.

Separately, fierce clashes erupted in the morning between militant affiliated to Daash group and Iraqi police backed by pro-government tribesmen in al-Soufiyah district in the southern part of the provincial capital city of Ramadi, killing six militants, two policemen and two tribal fighters, a police source said.

Also in Anbar, Iraqi army helicopters pounded insurgents positions in the village of Zoubaa in Abu Ghraib area.

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 a separate incident, a soldier was killed and three others were wounded when a roadside bomb struck their patrol in Tarmiyah area, some 40 km north of Baghdad.

In Iraq’s eastern province of Diyala, a roadside bomb detonated near a police patrol in Maqdadiyah city, near the provincial capital city of Baquba, leaving a policeman killed and an officer wounded.

A police force clashed with a wanted local leader of an insurgent militant group, named al-Naqshabandiya, and shot him dead during an operation outside Jalawlaa city.

Also in the province, two soldiers were wounded in a roadside bomb explosion near their patrol in Naft Khana area, some 135 km northeast of Baquba, a police source said.

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 civilian police personnel, were killed in 2013, the highest annual death toll in years.

IANS