Bomb blasts kill at least 11 in Iraq

Bomb blasts kill at least 11 in Iraq
Fri Aug 9, 2013 15:47:07

Two bombs exploded near a checkpoint run by government-allied militiamen in western Iraq on Friday, killing at least 11 people in the latest strike by militants seeking to destabilize the country.

The twin blasts struck shortly before midday in the village of Zangoura, which is just south of the former insurgent stronghold of Ramadi, some 115 kilometers (70 miles) west of Baghdad, according to police.

The checkpoint was manned by members of the Sahwa, who are militiamen that joined Iraqi police to fight al-Qaeda during the Iraq War.

One bomb, apparently planted by the side of the road, was the source of the initial blast. A second explosion struck as villagers rushed to help the victims of the first blast, police said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but coordinated bombings and attacks on Sahwa members are frequently the work of al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Police and hospital officials said 22 people also were wounded in the attack. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

Iraq is in the midst of the deadliest and most sustained wave of violence to hit the country since 2008.

More than 2,000 people have been killed in bombings and other violent attacks since the start of April.

Earlier Friday, Iraqi officials raised the death toll from a series of bombings late Thursday that targeted soccer fans watching the Confederations Cup semifinal between Spain and Italy in cafes in and around Baghdad. They put the number of those killed at 36.


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