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Middle East
Iraqi family members die in attack
Eight people killed in raid by armed men on home in ethnically polarised Diyala province.
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2009 11:35 GMT

Eight members of the same family have been killed in a gun attack at their home in the northern Iraqi province of Diyala, police say.

Six women were among those killed in the raid at the house in Maamil, a village near Balad Ruz, 90km north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, Lieutenant Abdul Jabbar Raheem of Balad Ruz police said.

Two people, a man and a woman, were also abducted during the attack at 11.30pm (2030 GMT) on Thursday, Raheem said.

The family members, who are all Sunni Muslim Arabs, were targeted in the predominantly Shia Muslim village a week before provincial elections.

The family were poor refugees who had fled violence in Baquba, Diyala's provincial capital, Raheem said.

Diyala is one of the most dangerous areas of Iraq, with frequent violence reported between ethnic Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen.

Fighters from al-Qaeda, a Sunni group, and members of Shia militia organisations have often battled each other in Diyala after being forced out of other parts of Iraq.

Shia fighters hold the most control over the province, security sources say.

Source:
Agencies
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