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Dozens killed in two days of Iraq violence

At least 25 people, including six family members who were returning from a wedding, killed in unrest.

Last Modified: 08 Jul 2013 20:35
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At least 25 people, including six family members who were returning from a wedding, have been killed in Iraq in two days of violence, police officers and doctors said on Monday.

The deadliest attack happened on Monday in northern Iraq where a car bomb south of the city of Mosul killed six people, including three children, and wounded eight.

A car bomb in the city also killed one person and wounded four.

In Madain, south of Baghdad, a bomb exploded near a football field inside a sports club on Monday, killing at least five people.

And gunmen attacked a checkpoint on a highway in northern Iraq, sparking clashes that killed three anti-al-Qaeda fighters and two militants.

The anti-al-Qaeda fighters, known as Sahwa, are a collection of Sunni tribal militias that turned against al-Qaeda and sided with the US military from late 2006 onwards, helping turn the tide against Iraq's bloody insurgency.

The militiamen are regarded as traitors by Sunni fighters and are frequently targeted in attacks.

On Sunday night, gunmen killed a policeman, his father, his wife and three children as they drove south of Baghdad on their way back from a wedding.

And armed men shot dead two police in an attack on a checkpoint in Tikrit, north of the capital.

With the latest violence, over 185 people have been killed in unrest in the first eight days of July - far more than in the whole month of December, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources.

Iraq has seen a surge in violence since the beginning of the year, coinciding with ongoing protests in the Sunni Arab community that analysts and diplomats say have boosted recruitment to Sunni groups and given them room to manoeuvre.

The country is also struggling with a political deadlock and months-long protests by its Sunni Arab minority.

Iraqi political leaders have vowed to resolve outstanding disputes, with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki meeting with his two main rivals last month in a bid to ease tensions, but no tangible measures have been announced.

Analysts and diplomats worry that the standoff, which is often linked to levels of violence, is unlikely to be resolved at least until general elections due next year.

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Source:
AFP
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