Deadly attacks hit Iraq cities

Eight soldiers among 13 killed in separate attacks in Tikrit and Baghdad.

    Attacks have fallen in numbers but still remain common in Iraq [Reuters]

    Multiple blasts have rocked Baghdad and Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit in Iraq, killing 13 people, including eight soldiers targeted by a suicide car bomber.

    Nuri Sabah al-Mashhadani, a senior military intelligence official, was among those killed in Monday's attack in Tikrit. Seventeen others were wounded, according to Salaheddin provincial health director Raid Ibrahim.

    The explosion struck at 9:30am local time, targeting the main gate of a fortified compound housing several of Saddam's former presidential palaces that are now home to several security offices.

    In Baghdad, gun attacks at two checkpoints in the mainly Sunni northern area of Adhamiyah killed three people, including one soldier, an interior ministry official said.

    A car bomb in eastern Baghdad killed one person and wounded 10 others, the official added.

    Monday's attacks came just three days after suspected al-Qaeda fighters attacked Tikrit's provincial council offices. The raids led to protracted gun battles with security forces and left 58 people dead.

    Tikrit, the birthplace of Saddam - the former ruler who was executed some years after being toppled - was a key battleground in the upheaval that followed the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

    Violence in Iraq is down from its peak in 2006 and 2007, but attacks remain common.

    A total of 177 people died in May as a result of violence, according to official figures.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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