Iraq policeman gives life to shield recruits

2014-04-17 17:34
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Mosul - An Iraqi policeman sacrificed himself to shield army recruits from a suicide bomber northeast of Baghdad on Thursday, as attacks targeting security personnel killed 15 people country-wide.

The violence comes as Iraq suffers a protracted surge in bloodshed that has killed more than 2 650 people so far this year despite wide-ranging operations against militants by the security forces.

In Baladruz, northeast of Baghdad, policeman Raad Kadhim Hattab threw his arms around a suicide bomber who was trying to target a recruitment centre, the interior ministry said.

The bomber detonated his explosives, killing Hattab and an army recruit and wounding 10 others, police and a doctor said - a toll that would almost certainly have been higher were it not for the policeman's sacrifice.

Another Iraqi policeman also gave his life to protect Shi'ite pilgrims from a suicide bomber in December last year.

Militants killed 13 security forces members on Thursday in the northern province of Nineveh, which is one of the most dangerous areas of Iraq.

In Mahallabiyah, west of provincial capital Mosul, militants armed with automatic weapons attacked a military site, killing 12 soldiers and wounding 15, a police officer and a morgue employee said.

It is the deadliest day for the Iraqi army since 17 February, when 13 soldiers were killed.

And a police colonel was gunned down in another attack southeast of the city.

Militant groups frequently target members of the security forces, some of whom lack adequate training and discipline.

And they are able even to strike at supposedly secure targets, such as government buildings, police stations, prisons and military installations.

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