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Seven dead in Iraq as Qaeda claims attacks

Al-Qaeda claims responsibility for attack in Baghdad and north Iraq which killed seven, following the death of six soldiers on Tuesday

AFP , Wednesday 29 Aug 2012
Residents inspect the site of a bomb attack in Baghdad, Iraq, June(Photo: Reuters)
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Attacks in Baghdad and north Iraq on Wednesday killed seven people, including a general, as Al-Qaeda's front group claimed to have carried out nearly 150 strikes on security forces over the summer.

The unrest came a day after after six soldiers were killed nationwide, including a colonel, as insurgents have sought to target senior security officials with assassinations of three top officers in as many days.

In Baghdad, gunmen killed an Iraqi general on Wednesday morning, security and medical officials said.

The murder of Brigadier General Nadhim Tayeh, the head of police emergency responders in west Baghdad, followed an ambush on the convoy of an army colonel a day earlier and the shooting of a border guards brigadier general in the city on Monday.

"Several armed men opened fire with silenced pistols against Brigadier General Nadhim Tayeh and killed him immediately while he was driving his private car and wearing civilian clothes," an interior ministry official said.

A medic at Karkh hospital confirmed Tayeh's assassination.

Armed men using silenced pistols also shot dead a policeman near Al-Nida mosque in north Baghdad, the interior ministry official and a doctor at Al-Kindi hospital said.

Another shooting in east Baghdad left a Sunni sheikh dead, according to security and medical officials.

A spate of bombings in the disputed northern province of Kirkuk, meanwhile, killed four policemen and wounded six other members of the security forces, police and doctor Abdullah Hassan from Kirkuk city's main hospital said.

Three policemen were killed and three others were wounded by a roadside bomb targeting the convoy of police Brigadier General Sarhad Qader in Kirkuk province, as it passed through Al-Riyadh town southwest of the eponymous provincial capital.

Qader himself escaped unscathed.

Two separate bombings in southern Kirkuk city, meanwhile, killed one policeman and wounded three security force members – a policeman and two Kurdish peshmerga members.

The latest deaths took to 272 the number of people killed in nationwide attacks so far in August, including 107 members of the security forces, according to an AFP tally based on reports from security and medical officials.

Violence has significantly decreased in Iraq compared to the brutal years of 2006 and 2007, but attacks are still common.

Al-Qaeda's front group the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), meanwhile, claimed in a statement posted on jihadist forums on Tuesday that it was behind 163 attacks in June and July, 148 of which were against police and soldiers, with several others targeting the Sahwa, a Sunni tribal militia.

The claim could not be independently verified.

It comes after the ISI declared a campaign last month to retake territory it had abandoned in the years since the worst of the sectarian bloodshed in the country.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq is regarded by Iraqi officials as significantly weaker than at the peak of its strength in 2006 and 2007, but it is still capable of carrying out spectacular mass-casualty attacks.

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