Iraq violence kills 11, wounding top army officer
AFP, Monday 16 Sep 2013
Monday attacks north of Iraqi capital kill eleven, as army officer escapes assassination attempt

Violence in Iraq killed 11 people on Monday as an army official escaped an assassination attempt, the latest in a surge of unrest that has left more than 4,200 dead this year.

The attacks were the latest in months of unrelenting bloodshed, the country's worst since 2008.

Monday's blasts and shootings mostly struck areas north of the capital and came a day after nationwide attacks which killed 60 people.

In the deadliest new attack, a roadside bombing targeting an army patrol in the northern city of Mosul killed four soldiers, an army first lieutenant and a doctor said.

Also in Mosul, a suicide bomber blew himself up at an army checkpoint, killing a soldier and wounding 10 others, among them the provincial army intelligence chief Brigadier General Ismail al-Juburi, officials said.

Separate shootings in the city left two others dead.

In Muqdadiyah, a town north of Baghdad, militants stormed a Shiite shrine and captured a family inside. They separated two of them, a father and a son, and killed them before bombing the shrine, security and medical sources said.

Both the victims were employees of the shrine.

And in the predominantly-Shiite southern port city of Basra, gunmen killed two Sunnis in separate attacks, security sources said, prompting a senior Sunni leader to suspend prayers until further notice.

"All prayers will be suspended to preserve the worshippers' lives until security has been provided for them," Abdulkarim al-Khazraji, head of the Basra offices of a foundation charged with running Sunni places of worship, told AFP.

Violence has surged in Iraq in recent months.

Authorities insist a campaign targeting militants is yielding results, but the government has faced criticism for not doing more to defuse Sunni Arab anger over alleged ill-treatment at the hands of the Shiite-led authorities.

Analysts and diplomats say militants have exploited the situation on the ground to recruit new fighters and carry out attacks.