11 killed in attacks across Iraq

Baghdad, Jan 7 : At least 11 people were killed, including six Al Qaeda militants, and 15 wounded in violent attacks across Iraq Monday, police said.

In Iraq's western province of Anbar, a police force-backed Sunni tribesmen clashed with Al Qaeda militants near the provincial capital city of Ramadi, some 110 km from here, killing six militants, a provincial police source told Xinhua.

In a separate incident, unidentified gunmen using assault rifles attacked an army checkpoint in Abu Ghraib area, some 25 km west of Baghdad, killing two soldiers and wounding three others, the source said.

During the past three days, the Iraqi army pounded Fallujah with artillery shells and mortar rounds from military bases outside the city, witnesses said.

Anbar province has been the scene of sporadic clashes between Iraqi security forces, tribesmen and Al Qaeda militants. Tensions flared in the province last week, when Iraqi police dismantled an anti-government protest site outside Ramadi.

Earlier in the day, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki called on the residents and the tribes in Fallujah, some 50 km west of Baghdad, to "expel terrorists from the city neighbourhoods since the areas are subjected to armed confrontations," the Iraqiya state-run channel reported.

In Iraq's northern province of Nineveh, Iraqi soldiers killed two suspected Al Qaeda militants and wounded two others during a clash occurred when the militants attacked an army checkpoint in south of Mosul, some 400 km north of Baghdad, a source from the provincial operations command said.

Separately, a police force found a body of a civilian who was kidnapped earlier from a village in south of Mosul, the source said, adding that the body was handcuffed and has signs of torture with bullet holes in the head.

Also in the province, the security forces carried out search operations across the province and arrested 42 people, in addition to seizing a cache of weapons and explosives, the source added.

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

--IANS (Posted on 07-01-2014)

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