25 killed in separate violent attacks across Iraq

Photo: 25 killed in separate violent attacks across Iraq / Arab World

Twenty-five people were killed and 31 others wounded in separate violent attacks across Iraq on Thursday, police and medical sources said, Xinhua reported.

In Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, eight Sunni civilians were killed and eight of their homes and a Sunni mosque were set on fire when gunmen believed to be Shiite militiamen attacked the village of Boudjah near the provincial capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, a provincial police source said.

Omer al-Hemiary, a leading figure in the Iraqi Islamic party, accused "an influential militia of being behind the sectarian killing against the innocent people."

Hemiary called on Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, also Commander- in-Chief of Iraqi armed forces, "to launch an offensive against the leaders of the death squads and the militias in Diyala, because the tensions are very high and the militias would spark serious sectarian strife."

The militiamen attack came after about three weeks of a similar one when gunmen stormed the Sunni town of Buhruz near Baquba, killing many civilians and set fire to several houses and three mosques.

Also in Diyala, a civilian was killed and his wife wounded when gunmen opened fire on their car in Udheim area in the northern part of Diyala, while a policeman was killed by gunmen near his house in Himreen area in northeast of Baquba, a provincial police source said.

In Anbar province, six civilians were killed and 24 wounded by airstrikes and artillery shelling on several neighborhoods in the besieged city of Fallujah, some 50 km west of Baghdad, a medical source from the city hospital said.

Separately, fierce clashes between Iraqi troops and gunmen in the city of Ramadi, some 110 km west of Baghdad, killing six militants believed to be linked Islamic States of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), 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.

Elsewhere, gunmen broke into the house of a police officer and beheaded him before they fled the scene in the town of Dowr, just north of the Salahudin's provincial capital city of Tikrit, some 170 km north of Baghdad, a provincial police source said.

In a separate incident, a policeman was killed and three others wounded when gunmen attacked their checkpoint in the town of al- Siniyah, some 50 km north of Tikrit, the source said.

Also in the province, a farmer was killed and three of his children were wounded in a roadside bomb explosion near his car outside the city of Yathrib, some 90 km south of Tikrit, the source added.

Thursday violence came just 20 days ahead of the landmark parliamentary elections on April 30, which is the first in the country since the withdrawal of U.S. troops in late 2011.

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