Seventeen killed and seven injured in Iraq
Seventeen Iraqis were killed and seven injured Friday in continuing violence in Iraq, dpa reported.
In Ramadi, 14 people were dead after al-Qaeda militants launched a pre-dawn breakout from a police station in the city, triggering a shoot-out. Meanwhile, three were killed and three injured when a bomb exploded in the Baladruz district in Baquba.
The Ramadi prison breakout attempt caused police to impose a curfew in the city.
During an exchange of fire between prisoners trying to escape and police officers in the station, seven policemen and seven prisoners were killed, al-Arabiya news channel quoted provincial police chief Tareq al-Dulaimi as saying.
Three prisoners managed to flee. However, one was re-arrested, al- Dulaimi said.
He added that another four policemen were wounded in the shoot-out in the centre of Ramadi.
The predominantly Sunni Arab city of Ramadi, capital of Anbar province, was a safe haven for al-Qaeda insurgents in Iraq following the US-led invasion of the country in 2003 and the toppling of former leader Saddam Hussein. But since 2006, local Sunni tribesmen, backed by the US military, have fought al-Qaeda and managed to push them out of the region.
In September, Anbar became the eleventh province to be handed back to Iraqi control.
Separately, in Baladruz district, east of Baquba, three Iraqi soldiers were killed and three were injured when a bomb exploded, a security source said.
The bomb was detonated on the main street in Baladruz, targeting a vehicle of the 5th brigade of the Iraqi army, the source told Voices of Iraq (VOI) news agency.
In a separate incident, Iraqi forces sealed off al-Katoun neighbourhood, in west of Baquba, where a bomb exploded causing severe material damage to three nearby stores, the source added.
Baquba, the capital of Diyala province, lies 57 kilometres northeast of Baghdad.