Four anti-Qaeda militiamen, soldier killed in Iraq

AFP , Friday 29 Jun 2012

Security and medical officials say four anti-Qaeda militamen were shot south Baquba

Gunmen shot dead four anti-Qaeda militiamen in central Iraq on Friday, while a roadside bomb killed an Iraqi soldier, security and medical officials said.

Gunmen attacked a checkpoint in Khan Bani Saad, south of the city of Baquba, killing four Sahwa militiamen and wounding four others, a militia commander said on condition of anonymity, adding that the attackers were able to escape.

And a roadside bomb against a patrol in the city killed one soldier and wounded another, an army major said. Dr Ahmed Ibrahim of Baquba General Hospital confirmed the tolls. Friday's deaths brought the number of people killed in attacks since June 13 to at least 212 -- an average of more than 12 per day, and a far higher toll than the 132 who were killed in the entire month of May, according to official figures.

A significant amount of the violence has occurred in and around Baquba, capital of confessionally mixed Diyala province, north of Baghdad.

On Thursday, a car bomb exploded near a Shiite place of worship in Baquba, killing six people and wounding 51, while two people were killed and four wounded in another bombing, and three more wounded in an attack near the city. 

On June 18, a suicide bomber killed 22 people in an attack on Shiite mourners in Baquba, and 10 people were killed in a series of attacks in and around the city on June 13.Violence has declined significantly since its peak in 2006 and 2007, but attacks still remain common.

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