Bombings and shootings across Iraq have killed at least 19 people, including an ambush that targeted a convoy carrying a top military commander, authorities said.
Saturday’s attack was targeting the motorcade of General Abdul-Amir al-Zaidi, a top military commander, in an area north of Baghdad.
Gunmen killed six of al-Zaidi’s bodyguards and wounded four others, police said. The attack took place near the town of Adeim, about 100km north of Baghdad.
Al-Zaidi, who commands some government forces in Diyala and Salahuddin provinces, was not hurt in the attack, police said.
Gunmen also broke into the house of a former fighter of an anti-al-Qaeda group known as Sahwa, killing the man’s wife and two daughters near the city of Baqouba. The father was not in the house at the time of the attack.
Sahwa joined with US troops in the war against al-Qaeda at the height of Iraq war. Ever since, it has been a target for Sunni fighters who consider them traitors. There were several attacks in July targeting current and former Sahwa members.
In another attack near Baqouba, 60km northeast of Baghdad, gunmen shot and killed two Sahwa fighters as they were working on their farm.
Meanwhile, police officials said fighters in a car killed two off-duty policemen near the northern city of Mosul.
In the central Iraqi city of Tikrit, a roadside bomb explosion killed a father and his son, authorities said.
In western Baghdad, a bomb went off near a line of car part stores, killing two people and wounding seven others, officials said.
In the southeast of the capital, authorities said a blast missed a police patrol but killed two civilian passers-by.
Violence has been on the rise in Iraq all year, but the number of attacks against civilians and security forces has spiked during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which began early last month.
With Saturday’s attacks, at least 597 people have been killed since the start of Ramadan, according to an Associated Press news agency count, making it the bloodiest Ramadan in Iraq since 2007.
The surge in the bloodshed is raising fears of a return to the widespread killing that pushed the country to the brink of civil war after the 2003 US-led invasion.