Two blasts, kill 14 people in Iraq

2013-06-28 22:33
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

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Ramadi - Two bombs planted in a senior Iraqi police officer's car and another attack by a suicide bomber at a funeral killed at least 14 people in Iraq on Friday, police said.

The attacks followed bomb blasts in coffee shops and other targets that killed at least 22 on Thursday.

An explosion in the police officer's vehicle killed him in the city of Ramadi, capital of Anbar province, a Sunni Muslim heartland. Five minutes later a second bomb went off as police and bystanders gathered near the wreckage of the vehicle.

"We were on duty at a nearby checkpoint when the car exploded. We ran to work out what was going on, but before we reached the car it exploded again," said a policeman at the scene. "Many civilians and policemen were killed."

At the height of Iraq's insurgency in 2006-07, Anbar was in the grip of al-Qaeda's local affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq, which has been regaining strength in recent months.

Minority Sunnis have felt sidelined since the 2003 US-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein and empowered majority Shi'ites.

In Dujail, a mainly Shi'ite town 50km north of Baghdad, a suicide bomber attacked a funeral, killing four people, including a senior police officer, police said.

Sunni insurgents often target members of the security forces, heads of tribes and officials they see as supporters of the Shi'ite-led government, as well as Shi'ites.

Concerns that Iraq may lapse back into full-scale sectarian conflict have mounted in recent months amid tensions fuelled by the civil war in neighbouring Syria, where mainly Sunni rebels are fighting to overthrow a leader backed by Shi'ite Iran.

More than 1 000 people were killed in violence in Iraq in May, according to the United Nations, the highest monthly toll since the sectarian blood-letting of 2006-2007.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for Friday's attacks. Suicide bombings are a trademark of al-Qaeda's Iraqi wing.

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  iraq

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