Mon, Oct 16, 2006 - Page 7 News List

Bombs kill seven in Baghdad

VIOLENCE EVERYWHERESuspected Shiite militiamen killed 26 Sunnis in a weekend rampage in Balad, a city 60km north of the capital, the Iraqi Interior Ministry reported

AGENCIES , BAGHDAD

Two bombs tore through the convoy of a high ranking Iraqi Interior Ministry official in eastern Baghdad yesterday, killing seven people but leaving the official unscathed, a security source said.

The US military also announced the deaths of three US soldiers in southern Baghdad when roadside bomb destroyed their vehicle on Saturday.

There has been a dramatic increase in attacks on US servicemen and women, with at least 50 troops killed since the beginning of this month.

Hala Mohammed Shakr, head of the Interior Ministry's financial affairs department, was driving through eastern Baghdad's Mustansiriyah neighborhood when the bombs exploded, killing two bodyguards and setting two cars on fire, the security source said.

Five civilian bystanders were also killed and there was heavy damage to a nearby gas station and shops in the area.

Al-Kindi hospital reported receiving eight wounded civilians.

Elsewhere in the city, a bomb exploded next to a passing convoy of security contractors, setting a vehicle ablaze and killing two bystanders, police said.

The blast on Ghadir street in southeast Baghdad also wounded five people.

Another bomb exploded in the restive Amil neighborhood, a mixed Sunni-Shiite area in southwest Baghdad that has been the scene of a number of attacks, killing one person and wounding two.

South of the capital, in the restive rural region that has seen a constant series of violent incidents, many with sectarian overtones, a policeman and a civilian were killed near the city of Kut.

Two bodies partially eaten by fish were also fished out of the river near the village of Suweira.

Police in Salaheddin Province reported finding the corpses of 40 murder victims on Saturday.

Saturday also saw the death of four US servicemen, three in the Baghdad bomb attack and a marine in the restive city of Fallujah, west of the capital.

The deaths being the number of US military personnel in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion to 2,759, according an AFP count based on Pentagon figures.

Meanwhile, suspected Shiite militiamen killed 26 Sunni-Arab rivals in a weekend rampage of revenge killing in Balad, a city 60km north of Baghdad, an Interior Ministry official said yesterday, raising the toll in the latest sectarian bloodletting there to 43.

The sectarian killings were in apparent retaliation for the slayings of 17 Shiites, whose decapitated bodies were found in an orchard on the town's outskirts on Friday.

Extra police flooded into the city and a curfew was imposed, Interior Ministry spokesman Brigadier Abdul-Karim Khalaf said. Additional security measures were taken in other villages in the predominantly Sunni area, a hotbed of the insurgency battling US and Iraqi forces.

A husband, wife and two of their son's were killed and the son's wives critically wounded yesterday morning when gunmen burst into their home in Mosul, Iraq's third largest city 360km northwest of Baghdad, police Colonel Eid al-Jibouri said.

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