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16 killed in Iraq violence

Posted on Feb 19 2014 | IANS

Baghdad, Feb 19 : Sixteen people were killed and 32 others wounded in separate violent attacks, mainly targeting Iraqi security forces across the country, police source said Wednesday.

In Salahudin province, a car bomb went off in the early hours Wednesday morning at a popular market at a village, just south of the city of Dujail, some 60 km north of Iraq's capital Baghdad, leaving three people dead and 20 others wounded, a provincial police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

In a separate incident, Jumaa Unad, Salahudin's provincial police chief, escaped unharmed a roadside bomb attack near his convoy east of the city of Tuz-Khurmato, some 90 km east of the provincial capital Tikrit, but killed one of his bodyguards and wounded three others, the source said.

Late Tuesday night, a police colonel and four policemen were killed and two others wounded by mortar barrage on a police station in the restive town of Sulaiman Beg near the city of Tuz-Khurmato despite nearly a week of fierce clashes after anti- government militant groups seized part of the town, the source added.

It was not immediately clear whether the mortar rounds were fired by the army or the militant groups, the source said.

Also Wednesday morning, gunmen shot dead a police officer while he was driving his car in Albu Ajil area, just east of Tikrit, some 170 km north of Baghdad, he added.

In Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, three soldiers were killed and five wounded at dawn when gunmen attacked their base near a village located some 50 km north of the provincial capital city Baquba, a provincial police source told Xinhua.

Separately, a policeman was killed and another wounded in an attack by gunmen on their outpost near Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, the source said. Also in the province, police clashed with gunmen in Imam-Wies area, some 50 km northeast of Baquba, leaving a policeman and a gunman dead, the source added.

In Baghdad, a sticky bomb attached to a car detonated in Nahdha district in the center of the capital, leaving the driver critically wounded, a police source said.

Iraq is witnessing its worst violence in recent years. According to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, a total of 8,868 Iraqis, including 7,818 civilians and civilian police personnel, were killed in 2013, the highest annual death toll in years.

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