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Iraq violence kills 14 Wednesday

A string of shootings throughout Iraq leaves fourteen, mostly Sahwa fighters, dead

AFP , Wednesday 31 Jul 2013
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Attacks in Iraq on Wednesday killed 14 people, among them five anti-Al-Qaeda militiamen, officials said, as the country witnesses its deadliest violence since 2008.

Gunmen killed three Sahwa anti-Al-Qaeda militiamen and wounded a fourth in the northern province of Kirkuk, while others shot dead two Sahwa fighters near Baquba, also north of the capital.

The militiamen, who sided with US forces against insurgents from late 2006, helping to turn the tide of the war, are regarded as traitors by Sunni militants and are frequently targeted in attacks.

Two more people were killed by gunmen in the same area where the Sahwa fighters were attacked northeast of Baquba, while two bombings in Kirkuk province wounded five soldiers and a policeman.

Gunmen also shot dead seven people and wounded eight in two attacks in Baghdad province, and a car bomb wounded five people south of Tikrit.

The local government in Baquba meanwhile decided to shutter all cafes, an official said, a day after a bombing at a cafe in the city killed eight people.

With the latest violence, more than 860 people have been killed in July, and more than 3,100 since the beginning of the year, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called on Iraqi political leaders to bring the country "back from the brink," while the interior ministry has warned of civil war.

Iraq has faced years of attacks by militants, but analysts say widespread discontent among the Sunni Arab minority, which the government has failed to address, has fuelled the spike in violence this year.

Recent attacks include brazen assaults on two Iraqi prisons in which dozens of people died, and over 500 inmates, among them senior members of Al-Qaeda, escaped.

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