Spate of attacks kill 17 in IraqAgence France-Presse . Baghdad
Attacks in Baghdad and mostly Sunni areas of Iraq killed 17 people on Monday, including eight in a coordinated attack on the home of an anti-Qaeda militia chief, officials said.
The Turkish consul to the northern city of Mosul and a top criminal judge in the executed president Saddam Hussein’s home town were also caught in bomb attacks.
The violence was the latest in a surge of unrest that has killed more than 3,800 people this year and sparked widespread concern that Iraq is slipping back towards the all-out bloodshed which plagued it in 2006 and 2007.
The authorities have pushed a massive security campaign targeting militants, but analysts and diplomats have cautioned that the government must also address the root causes of the violence.
Monday’s deadliest attack was against the west Baghdad home of Wissam al-Hardan, who was appointed earlier this year by the prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, to lead the Sahwa, a collection of Sunni tribal militias.
The officials said two suicide bombers blew themselves up outside Hardan’s home at around 3:00 pm, followed by a car bomb that went off as emergency responders arrived.
In all, eight people were killed and 14 were wounded, including Hardan himself.
The militia chief was taken to a hospital inside Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, home to the US and British embassies and parliament.
Another attack on a Sahwa checkpoint, this time a suicide car bomb, on the outskirts of the restive city of Baquba, north of Baghdad, killed four people and wounded 10.
From late 2006 onwards, Sunni tribal militias turned against their co-religionists in al-Qaeda and sided with the US military, helping to turn the tide of Iraq’s bloody insurgency.
As a result, however, Sunni militants view them as traitors and frequently target them.
The government has increasingly turned to Sahwa fighters as it combats a surge in unrest, with violence at its highest level since 2008.
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