Four killed, 13 injured in attacks in Iraq
Three militants allied with the Iraqi government and one policeman were killed, and 13 injured, on Friday in separate attacks targeting security forces in Iraq, according to police sources, DPA reported.
Three members of Sahwa, or Awakening Councils, were killed and three injured on Friday when gunmen attacked a Sahwa checkpoint in the centre of the mainly Sunni Arab town of Al-Sharqat, 280 kilometres north of Baghdad.
The Sahwa, made up of former Sunni insurgents, have been facing regular attacks for their role in supporting government in its fight against al-Qaeda.
Meanwhile, one policeman was killed and 10 people injured in two consecutive blasts in Falluja city, some 60 kilometres west of Baghdad.
Seven civilians were injured when an explosive device went off at midnight near a policeman's house in al-Golan neighbourhood. Another blast took place shortly after police arrived at the scene, killing one policeman and injuring three others.
Security forces have increasingly been coming under attack from insurgents in recent months, as the US military has now reduced its presence in Iraq to under 50,000 soldiers. All soldiers are scheduled to leave Iraq by the end of 2011.
Five suspected senior members of al-Qaeda were arrested in two operations, police said on Friday.
Two suspects were arrested in a desert area between Falluja and Saqalawiya cities, where police seized their equipments for making car bombs as well as documents revealing their links with other cells responsible for attacks in the nearby cities.
Aziz al-Amra, head of the Rapid Response Forces in Wasit, told the German Press Agency dpa that the three other suspects, arrested late on Thursday, confessed they belonged to al-Qaeda and of their involvement in a car bombing that targeted a police station in the city of Kut.
On Wednesday, at least 20 police officers were killed and 90 injured in Kut, 170 kilometres north-east of Baghdad, when a suicide bomber drove an explosives-laden car into a police station.