[QODLink]
Middle East
Iraq attacks target security personnel
At least 13 killed in Baghdad, Kirkuk, Mosul and elsewhere.
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2011 21:53
Attacks have stepped up as US troops prepare to withdraw from the country by year's end [EPA]

A string of bomb explosions and attacks by gunmen have left at least 13 police and military personnel dead and 18 others wounded in Iraq, security officials say.

At least nine attacks took place late on Sunday and throughout Monday in Baghdad, Kirkuk, Mosul and elsewhere.

A rocket attack inside the heavily fortified Green Zone of Baghdad, the Iraqi capital, left at least three people dead and eight injured late on Monday.

The rockets targeted a gas tank near three caravans, starting a fire that went on for hours, Al Jazeera's Rawya Rageh reported from the city. The caravans belonged to workers for the al-Rashid hotel.

"Police are saying they have managed to apprehend two suspects who are believed to have fired those rockets from behind a hospital in al-Ghazaliya neighbourhood, in the southeast of Baghdad," she said.

A rocket launcher was found with them.

String of attacks

Earlier, a bomb in a parked car killed two Iraqi policemen and wounded four others when it exploded near a patrol in the centre of Saqlawiya, a town in Anbar province, police said.

Click here for more of Al Jazeera's special coverage

In the capital, a bomber detonated his explosive vest near a security checkpoint, wounding five soldiers and killing himself.

"The security forces were watching the suicide bomber. When he felt they would arrest him he blew himself up near an Iraqi army checkpoint," Major-General Qassim al-Moussawi, the Iraqi capital's security spokesman, said.

Another suicide bomber was shot dead by police at a government counter-terrorism office in central Haditha, 190km northwest of Baghdad. The bomber's explosive vest went off, wounding an officer at the site, police said.

Three policemen were killed in Mansour, a west-central district of Baghdad, when a roadside bomb exploded.

In northeastern Baghdad, meanwhile, gunmen used silenced weapons to shoot dead a police lieutenant late on Sunday, an interior ministry source told the Reuters news agency.

In Kirkuk, an off-duty policeman was killed in front of his house in a drive-by shooting.

In Mosul, a roadside bomb blew up near an army patrol, killing a soldier late on Sunday, police said.

Violence in Iraq has dropped sharply from its heigh in 2006 and 2007, but bombings and other attacks continue to occur. Such attacks have increased in frequency as Iraqi forces prepare to take over from US troops, who are set to complete their full withdrawal from the country by the end of the year.

US military officials say the country still sees an average of 14 attacks everyday.

June was the deadliest month in three years for US forces, with 14 soldiers killed in hostile incidents. It was also the worst month for civilian casualties since January.

Nuri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, has asked Iraq's political parties to discuss the option of extending the US military's mandate beyond its year-end deadline.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps will be released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.