KIRKUK: At least 33 people were killed in several attacksacross Iraq today, including a coordinated assault against the local governmental and police buildings in the north of the country,police and medical sources reported.
Militant groups,comprising the Sunni Islamist al Qaeda, have been regaining momentum in their insurgency against Iraq’s Shi’ite-led government this year, reviving the specter of the sectarian bloodshed of 2006-07.
In the northern town of Hawija, two suicide car bombs were detonated respectively outside a local council building and a police station before militants fired mortar rounds and exchanged fire with the army, killing three soldiers, according to military sources.
At least three assailants were also shot dead in attacks that the military officials said looked like the work of al Qaeda. The militants withdrew after military reinforcements arrived.
“I was at the Hawija local council building when suddenly two blasts burst out,” said eyewitness Yaseen al-Sabaw. “I ran out of the building and saw human flesh and body parts spread all around the entrance”.
Iraq’s fragile sectarian balance has come under growing strain after the conflict in neighboring Syria, where Sunni rebels are fighting to overthrow a leader backed up by Shi’ite Iran, is heightening.
Al Qaeda’s Iraqi wing merged with its Syrian counterpart this year to form the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which has claimed responsibility for the attacks on both sides of the border.
Nearly 6,000 are the causalities of this year’s violence, according to the monitoring group Iraq Body Count.
A bomb placed inside a wooden cart on a shopping street in the northern city of Mosul exploded on Wednesday evening killing seven people, and a roadside bomb in south of Tikrit killed five more, according to the local police.
Police and medical sources said that gunmen opened fire against a vehicle in Taji, 20 km north of Baghdad, killing two off-duty soldiers.
In Baghdad, gunmen broke into the house of a policeman in the Shaab district in northern Baghdad, killing him, his wife, his sister-in-law and his three children, police and doctors reported.
Furthermore, a bomb placed in a shopping street in Baghdad’s western district of Ghazaliya causedthe death offive innocent people.