Three Iraqis killed in Diyala's violence
Three people were killed and four others were injured in gunfire and bomb attacks in the volatile province of Diyala on Sunday, meanwhile the Iraqi security forces captured 12 suspects across the province during the day, a provincial police source said, Xinhua reported.
A civilian was killed and three others were wounded, one of them in critical condition, when a sticky bomb attached to a minibus detonated in the east of the provincial capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, the source from Diyala's operations command told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
The Iraqi security forces sealed off the area and arrested two suspects for interrogation, the source said.
Elsewhere in the province, two gunmen with their AK-47 assault rifles shot dead a member of a Sunni paramilitary group, known as Awakening Council or Sahwa in Arabic, the source added.
The attack took place early in the morning near the victim's house in a village east of al-Sa'diyah town, 60 km northeast of Baquba, the source said, adding that the Iraqi security forces detained a civilian believed to be involved in the attack.
Near Baquba, an Iraqi soldier was killed and another was wounded in a roadside bomb explosion near their patrol in the rural area of al-Hadeed, just west of Baquba, the source said.
On Saturday, al-Hadeed area was the scene of clashes between insurgents and Iraqi security forces which resulted in the killing of a policeman and an insurgent and the wounding of five policemen and soldiers.
Separately, the Iraqi security forces conducted search operations across the province during the past 24 hours and apprehended nine more suspects and wanted individuals, along with seizing two caches of ammunition and explosives, the source added.
Diyala province, which stretches from the eastern edges of Baghdad to the Iranian border east of the country, has long been a stronghold for al-Qaida militants and other insurgent groups since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 despite repeated U.S. and Iraqi military operations against them.
Violence is still common in Iraqi cities as security deteriorated, causing a setback to the efforts of the Iraqi government to restore normalcy in the country days after the U.S. military announced withdrawal of its combat troops from the war- torn country.