Coordinated bombings early yesterday shattered the homes of four police officers in the western Iraqi town of Heet, killing seven people including the town’s anti-terror chief, an official said.
Six people were wounded in the blasts.
Attackers planted explosives around the bedrooms of the policemen in the town, 60km west of the Anbar provincial capital of Ramadi, said Lieutenant Colonel Fadhil Nimrawi, the head of the town’s emergency response unit.
“At 3am, men planted bombs around the bedrooms of four houses belonging to members of the police force, including Major Walid al-Heeti, the head of Heet’s anti-terror department,” he said. “The bombs killed seven people, including the anti-terror chief, and wounded six others, including women and children from the four families.”
The dead also included Heeti’s wife and mother, a child, and three other police officers, Nimrawi said.
The four houses were in different neighborhoods across the center of Heet and no vehicles are being allowed in or out of the town as part of ramped up security.
Nimrawi said several people had been arrested in connection with the attack, but declined to specify how many.
Heeti was one of the leaders of a campaign against al-Qaeda in mostly Sunni Anbar, which helped dramatically reduce the terror network’s presence in the province, Iraq’s biggest.
Several cities in Anbar were used as insurgent bases in the aftermath of the US-led invasion of 2003.
Since 2006, however, local Sunni tribes have sided with the US military and Iraqi authorities. Daily violence has dropped dramatically because al-Qaeda fighters have been ejected from the region.
Yesterday’s attacks come a month after the head of Salaheddin Province’s anti-terror squad and at least three of his bodyguards were among five people killed by a suicide bomber in Tikrit, the predominantly Sunni hometown of executed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
IRAN OIL ROW
Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was in Baghdad yesterday for talks with Iraqi leaders over bilateral ties, officials said, just weeks after a dispute between the two countries over their border.
Mottaki, who last visited Iraq in September, was holding a press conference with his Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zebari and was also due to meet with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, the Iraqi officials said.
Iranian TV said Mottaki was heading a large delegation on the visit.
Iran has often been accused by US military leaders, whose forces still have a large presence in Iraq, of funding and training Shiite militant groups and undermining security in the conflict-torn country.
Mottaki’s latest visit comes just weeks after Iran forces took over an oil well along the two countries’ disputed border, prompting a stand-off that drove up international crude prices.
FRENCH AID: Paris has sent a navy ship and aircraft from Reunion Island with some pollution control equipment, but rough seas are spreading the oil spill The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean yesterday apologized for a major oil spill, which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster, as police prepared to board the ship. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25. “We apologize profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Mitsui OSK Lines executive vice president Akihiko Ono said at a news conference in Tokyo. The company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said. At least 1,000 tonnes of
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
LIFELONG LOSS: Jiro Hamasumi, who was not quite born when an atomic bomb hit Hiroshima, lost his father and other relatives, but said he thinks about his father daily As Japan marks 75 years since the devastating attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the last generation of nuclear bomb survivors is working to ensure their message lives on after them. The “hibakusha” — literally “person affected by the bomb” — have for decades been a powerful voice calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. There are an estimated 136,700 left, many of whom were infants or soon to be born at the time of the attacks. The average age of a survivor now is a little over 83, according to the Japanese Ministry of Health, lending an urgency as they share their testimonies