[QODLink]
Middle East
Dozens dead in Iraq violence
Seven soldiers among victims of attacks in town on Syrian border and two other places.
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2010 05:36 GMT
The bombing in Tuz Khurmatu is the latest in a long line of attacks to hit the ethnically mixed town [AFP]

Seven Iraqi soldiers have been killed by unidentified assailants in an ambush near the Syrian border, according to a provincial military spokesman.

The official said that the assailants drove up to the checkpoint near al-Qaim, a border town, on Friday and opened fire.

He said that the attackers shot an eighth soldier several times but left him alive "to convey a message to the Iraqi army".

"Two minibuses loaded with gunmen ambushed an army humvee in the main street in Akashat and killed seven troops and wounded one," a military spokesman for the western province of Anbar said.

Witnesses said the assailants mutilated the corpses of the dead.

The desert in the far west of Iraq along the Syrian border has seen frequent attacks by fighters against US or government targets.

The new attack on the border targeting troops is likely to inflame security tensions in Baghdad about suspected collusion by Damascus in the passage of men and weapons over the border from Syria into Iraq.

After twin waves of deadly bombings claimed by al-Qaeda in Iraq hit Baghdad last August, Iraqi officials charged that Syria was complicit in the attacks and the two governments withdrew their ambassadors.

Twin car bombing

The attack in al-Qaim came on a day in which at least 24 people were killed, including an Iraqi interpreter working for the US military and several people targeted in a pair of car bombings.

In one incident, at least eight people were killed and more than 69 injured after a car bomb exploded in Tuz Khurmatu, a town 170km north of Baghdad.

 

Women and children were among the casualties of the bombing, police Colonel Hussein al-Bayati said.

The attack severely damaged several surrounding houses as well as the home of Niazar Nomaroglu, a Turkmen provincial councillor, al-Bayati said.

Reports suggest the target of the attack was Nomaroglu himself, who has been targeted before on at least two separate occasions.

According to reports, he was not in the area at the time of the attack.

Tuz Khurmatu is located in the province of Kirkuk, where Iraq's majority Arabs and minority Kurds are locked in a struggle over land, wealth and power.

The other car bombing targeted the house of Mustafa Mohammed, a police captain, in Baquba, northeast of Baghdad, police said.

Two neighbours were killed and 27 other people wounded, including some of Mohammed's relatives.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Featured
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.