Three anti-al-Qaida militants, Sunni cleric killed in Iraq's violence
Three Iraqi militants, known as Awakening Council group members and a Sunni cleric were killed in attacks in south and west of Baghdad on Wednesday, local police said, Xinhua reported.
Three Awakening Council group members were killed and three others wounded when a homemade bomb detonated while they were guarding a gathering of local tribes in the town of Iskandariya, some 60 km south of Baghdad, a local police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
The Awakening Council, or al-Sahwa in Arabic, consists of some powerful anti-U.S. Sunni insurgent groups, which turned their rifles against the al-Qaida network after the latter exercised indiscriminate killings against both Shiite and Sunni Muslim communities.
Iskandariya is part of the once restive area, dubbed Triangle of Death, which is a cluster of towns scattered north of Hilla city, the capital of Babil province, some 100 km south of Baghdad.
Also in the day, gunmen shot dead Jassim al-Essawi, the cleric of a Sunni mosque in the town of Garma, near the city of Fallujah, some 50 km west of Baghdad, a local police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
Insurgent attacks continue in the once volatile Sunni Arab area in west of Baghdad that stretches through Anbar province to Iraq's western borders with Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
The vast desert area has been relatively calm for more than three years after Sunni tribes and anti-U.S. insurgent groups turned to cooperate with the U.S. troops and Iraqi security forces against al-Qaida network in Iraq.