independent

Friday 18 April 2014

25 killed in wave of Iraq violence

Some 25 people have been killed in three attacks north of Baghdad, Iraq

Three attacks north of Baghdad have killed 25 people, including members of a Sunni militia that fights al-Qaida, officials said, in the latest of a growing surge of insurgent strikes that are plaguing Iraq.

Eight Sunni Muslim militiamen were snatched from their houses in the town of Mishahda and surrounding villages during the past two days and then killed, a police officer said. He said their bodies were left in an orchard with gunshot wounds. Some had their hands bound behind their backs.

The government-allied militiamen, or Sahwa, joined with US troops to fight al-Qaida before the American withdrawal in late 2011. Since then, they have been a frequent target for al-Qaida in Iraq, which considers them traitors. The town where the abductions took place, a former insurgent stronghold, is about 20 miles north of the capital.

Sectarian violence has also erupted.

Shortly after sunset, a suicide bomber set off his explosive belt inside a Shiite mosque where a funeral was taking place, killing nine people and wounding 40 others. The attack took place in the town of Muqdadiyah, 60 miles north of Baghdad.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Later, police said a suicide bomber blew himself up inside a cafe in the restive city of Baqouba, 35 miles north-east of Baghdad, killing eight people and wounding 20 others.

Health officials confirmed the casualty figures.

Also, the United Nations mission to Iraq said last month's violence claimed the lives of 761 Iraqis and wounded 1,771 others.

Press Association

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