Series of bomb attacks hit Iraq

Suicide attacks and bombings across country leave several security personnel dead.

    The killings are the latest in what appears to be a campaign to undermine Iraq's fragile security [EPA]

    Earlier in the day, a roadside bomb went off near a police patrol wounding four people, including three policemen, in southern Kirkuk, 250km north of Baghdad.

    In the town of Udhaim, 90km north of Baghdad, the bodies of two members of a government-backed Iraqi armed group were found dead after being kidnapped overnight by armed men wearing military uniforms.

    Police said two other people kidnapped overnight were still missing.

    Previous attacks

    Several other members of the armed group, known as the Awakening Council, or Sahwa, were killed earlier in the week.

    The targeted killings of policemen, soldiers, government officials and former fighters are stoking tensions in Iraq following a parliamentary election in March that produced no clear winner and has yet to yield a government.

    The killings are the latest blow in what appeared to be a campaign to undermine Iraq's fragile security gains.

    in depth

      Awakening Councils key to security?
      Iraq's 'intelligence failures'
      'Picnics are in now al-Qaeda's out'
      Inside Story: Iraq's return to violence

    Iraqi leaders promised to give government jobs to some 90,000 Sahwa members, but only about 42,000 of the fighters have been offered jobs, according to government officials.

    Thousands of other Sahwa fighters were asked to stay with their neighbourhood security patrols through Iraq's March 7 parliamentary election and until a new government is formed.

    The Awakening Councils were credited with helping to significantly cut violence since the worst of the sectarian bloodshed in 2006-07, when tens of thousands of people were killed.

    Before joining the fight against al-Qaeda in Iraq, members of the Awakening Councils were accused of killing US and Iraqi soldiers.

    Some of their former leaders and fighters were arrested by Iraqi security forces to face those accusations, forcing others into hiding.

    Many other Sahwa leaders have been targeted by bombings and assassinations in recent weeks in what appear to be either acts of revenge or part of a campaign to scare them back into the ranks of the uprising.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.