Iraq violence leaves five dead

AFP , Monday 31 Oct 2011

In a new wave of violence in Iraq, five people were killed in Diyala province in a bomb attack

Gun and bomb attacks in Iraq's restive Diyala province to the north of Baghdad killed five people -- three soldiers and two anti-Qaeda militiamen -- officials said on Monday.

In the deadliest attack, an initial roadside bomb at around midnight (2100 GMT) targeting an Iraqi army patrol in the town of Saadiyah killed one soldier and wounded another, a military official said.

When other soldiers rushed to the scene to evacuate the casualties, another bomb went off, killing two soldiers and wounding another, the official said.

"We received three bodies belonging to soldiers at around 8:00am (0500 GMT), and after two hours, the military came and took them," said Mohammed Amin Abdullah, a doctor at Saadiyah hospital.

Security forces cordoned off the scene of the blasts and vehicles were barred from entering or exiting the town.

Also in Saadiyah, which lies in a tract of disputed territory claimed by both the central government in Baghdad and Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, gunmen attacked an office of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan political party, the bloc of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.

Two guards were wounded in the overnight attack, according to the military official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

South of Diyala provincial capital Baquba, meanwhile, two brothers were shot dead by gunmen who raided their home in the town of Khan Beni Saad early Monday morning and separated them from women and children in the house before killing the men, a police officer said.

Firas al-Dulaimi, a doctor at Baquba general hospital, confirmed the toll.

The pair were both members of the Sahwa, or Awakening Council, a group of Sunni tribesman who formed militias and sided with the US military against Al-Qaeda from the end of 2006, helping turn the tide of Iraq's violent insurgency.

Violence is down markedly across Iraq since its peak in 2006 and 2007, but attacks remain common. A total of 185 people were killed in September, according to official figures.

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