Talabani's guards killed in attack

Armed men have attacked cars owned by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, killing eight of his bodyguards and wounding 15, police said.

    It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack

    The president was not in any of the cars when the attack occurred on Thursday.


    The 15-vehicle convoy came under fire south of Tuz Khormato, 88km south of this northern city, said Police Captain Farhard Talabani.


    He added that Talabani's bodyguards were being treated in a Kirkuk's Azade hospital.

    A security official who was in the convoy, said at the hospital that eight of the guards were killed and 15 wounded.


    He refused to give his name saying he is not authorised to make statements.

    The police officer said the cars were returning from Kurdistan to Baghdad when the attack happened.

    The attack comes three days after Environment Minister Narmin Othman escaped an assassination attempt when armed men attacked her convoy north of Baghdad wounding three bodyguards.

    Other attacks

    Talabani was not in any of the
    cars when the attack occurred

    Six Iraqi civilians have been killed and 15 wounded - mostly elderly men - when armed men burst into a popular cafe north of Baghdad and opened fire.

    The attack took place in the small town of Abu Sayda, about
    60km north of the Iraqi capital. A health official said people had gathered at the cafe for breakfast.

    It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack, but
    survivors said they suspected fighters who were part of
    the armed campaign to topple the US-backed government.

    Iraqi government officials accuse Muslim fighters loyal to former leader Saddam Hussein of also carrying out indiscriminate attacks that have killed civilians.

    Officials say Sunni fighters have recently sought to impose strict Islamic rules in some areas of Iraq by forcing out Shia and killing barbers who shave beards, an act they describe as un-Islamic.

    Elsewhere, a Filipino contract worker was killed in an ambush by gunmen in the Iraqi city of Kirkuk, the Philippine Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

    Foreign affairs undersecretary for migrant workers affairs, Jose Brillantes, said the engineer for US firm Lucent Technologies Inc was travelling with two Iraqis when the gunmen opened fire on their car late on Wednesday.

    All three had died, he said, citing a report from the Philippine embassy in Baghdad.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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