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Insurgents in Iraq kill 18

26 August 2013, 08:21

Baghdad - Insurgents bent on destabilising Iraq killed at least 18 people in separate attacks on Sunday, including 5 kidnapped Iraqi soldiers and an 8-year-old child, officials said.

The boldest attack was near the northern city of Mosul, where militants set up a fake security checkpoint, captured 5 soldiers and shot them dead, a police officer said.

The soldiers were dressed in civilian clothes and returning to base in a taxi, he added.

Inside Mosul, another group of gunmen in a speeding car shot and killed a grocer, he said, adding that the motive was not immediately clear.

The grocer was a member of the Shabak ethnic group, which has its own distinct language and religious beliefs.

Mosul, a former insurgent stronghold, is about 360km northwest of Baghdad.

Another police officer said a car bomb exploded as a judge drove past in the northern town of Balad, killing 3 nurses and a man who had been walking nearby.

13 other people were wounded, including the judge, his brother and the driver, he added.

In Baghdad's southeastern and largely Shiite neighbourhood of al-Ameen, a car bomb at a market killed 3 civilians and wounded 13 others, a police officer said.

Another car bomb killed 4 other civilians and wounded 12 in the town of Madain, about 25km southeast of Baghdad, another police officer said.

Also on Sunday, a bomb exploded near a policeman's house near the city of Baqouba, killing his 8-year old son and wounding 11 other people, police said.

The policeman was unharmed. Baqouba is about 60km northeast of Baghdad.

5 medical officials confirmed the casualty figures. All spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorised to release the information.

Attacks have been on the rise in Iraq since a deadly security crackdown in April on a Sunni protest camp.

More than 3 000 people have been killed in violence during the past few months, raising fears the country could see a new round of widespread sectarian bloodshed similar to that which brought it to the edge of civil war in 2006 and 2007.

- AP


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