Senior Qaida leader, 3 people killed in Iraq's violence
A senior leader of al-Qaida militant group was killed in police operation in northern Iraq on Saturday, while three people were killed in separate gunfire and bomb attacks in the day, the police said, Xinhua reported.
Majeed Hassan Ali, also known as Abu Ayman, a local leader of self-styled Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) in the city of Mosul, was killed in an operation by the Iraqi police on a suspected safe house of the militants in Rufaila area in the city, an Interior Ministry statement said.
Based on intelligence reports, the troops surrounded the safe house and clashed with the militants during the raid, which also resulted in arresting 19 al-Qaida fighters, two of them Palestinians, the statement said.
The troops also seized roadside bombs, sticky bombs and dozens of bags of explosives, as well as a cache of weapons and ammunition, the statement added.
Mosul, some 400 km north of Baghdad, has long been a stronghold for insurgent groups, including al-Qaida militants, despite several military offensives by U.S. and Iraqi forces during the past years.
In a separate incident, gunmen opened fire from assault rifles on the house of a police officer in the town of Hawija, some 240 km north of Baghdad, killing a passer-by and wounding the officer, a local police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
In addition, a shepherd was killed in land mine explosion in Shwan area in northern the city of Kirkuk, some 250 km north of Baghdad, a local police source said.
Also in the day, a local Awakening Council group member was killed when a roadside bomb went off near a checkpoint manned by his group members in the town of Baiji, some 210 km north of Baghdad, the source added.
The Awakening Council group, or Sahwa in Arabic, consists of armed groups, including some powerful anti-U.S. Sunni insurgent groups which fought al-Qaida militants in the Sunni Arab areas after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
Insurgents continue daily attacks including suicide bombings across Iraq since the U.S. troops pulled out of the country earlier last month.