Nineteen killed in Iraq violence, seven shepherds found slain
Nineteen people were killed and 13 injured in violence in Iraq Tuesday, officials said, and security forces found the bodies of seven shepherds near the city of Baquba, north-east of Baghdad, dpa reported.
Police in Baquba said that security forces found the shepherd's bodies, all with gunshot wounds to the head or chest, in the Abi Saida district north-east of the city.
Five people were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up among mourners near a shrine in Baquba, while a further five were killed outside the city when gunmen opened fire on a bus carrying construction workers.
A mortar attack hit a security facility in the city and nearby houses, killing a policeman and a civilian, and wounding eight people.
Three members of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, an extremist Islamist group formerly loyal to al-Qaeda, were killed when security forces raided their hideout in a mountainous area east of Baquba, police said.
In Salah al-Din province north of Baghdad, two people were killed in separate shooting attacks.
Two soldiers were killed and two injured when a bomb hit their patrol in the northern city of Mosul, police said, while a separate car bomb attack in the city injured three policemen.
Iraq has seen a sharp rise in attacks since April, with insurgents targeting crowded market areas, cafes and security checkpoints.
The increase in violence raised fears of a return to the sectarian violence that pushed the country to the brink of civil war in 2006 and 2007.
According to UN estimates, 659 people were killed in November.