Iraq attacks kill nine including election candidate

Iraq attacks kill nine including election candidate
Fri Feb 7, 2014 16:18:51

Attacks in Baghdad and north of the capital killed nine people on Friday, including a candidate who was standing in April's parliamentary election.

The murder of Hamza al-Shammari, the first of an election candidate, comes amid a protracted surge in bloodshed with near-daily attacks nationwide and security forces battling al-Qaeda militants in Anbar province.

Election candidates have been targeted in the past, with nearly 20 hopefuls killed ahead of April 2013 provincial council elections.

Shammari, a senior leader of the Shammar tribe in Baghdad, was killed by gunmen using silenced pistols in the west Baghdad neighborhood of Ghazaliyah, two security officials said.

He had been due to stand in the April 30 election as part of the Ahrar list, which is loyal to the Sadrists.

North of Baghdad, separate bombings killed eight people, security and medical officials said.

In Tuz Khurmatu, a car bomb set off by a suicide attacker at a main intersection in the center of the ethnically mixed town killed five people and wounded 27 others.

Another vehicle rigged with explosives was detonated near a passing army patrol in Baiji, killing three soldiers.

No one has admitted responsibility for the attacks.

Violence in Iraq is at its highest level since 2008, with government data showing more than 1,000 people killed last month.

ISIL has also been fighting security forces in Anbar, a desert region bordering Syria where militants have held parts of Ramadi and all of Fallujah for weeks.

Security forces and tribal auxiliaries have made slow progress in reclaiming neighborhoods of Ramadi, but have largely stayed out of Fallujah for fear that major incursions could spark high civilian casualties and heavy damage to property.


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