Iraq suicide bomber kills 7 police outside Baghdad
BAGHDAD (AP) — A suicide bomber tried to ram an explosives-laden truck into a police headquarters outside Baghdad Wednesday morning, killing at least seven policemen and wounding 14, officials said.
The truck exploded when it hit a concrete blast wall outside the building in the town of al-Salam, a police officer said. The town is about 75 kilometers (47 miles) northeast of the capital and close to the city of Baqouba, a former al-Qaida stronghold that has seen scores of attacks during a nationwide spike in violence that has gripped Iraq for months.
A separate attack in Baghdad’s northern Sab al-Bor neighborhood killed three and wounded 15 others when a bomb went off at an outdoor market, another police officer said. A sniper also killed a policeman at a checkpoint in the capital’s eastern Sadr City neighborhood, police said.
In Baghdad’s western suburb of Abu Ghraib, a bomb hit a patrol of a pro-government, anti-al-Qaida militia, killing one and wounding three others, a police officer said. The Sunni militia, known as the Awakening Council, was formed by U.S. forces in late 2007 to help fight insurgents.
Four medical officials confirmed the causality figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to talk to the media.
Violence has spiked in Iraq since April, with the pace of killing reached levels unseen since 2008. Today’s attacks bring the death toll across the country this month to 46, according to an Associated Press tally. According to U.N. figures, more than 5,500 people have been killed since April.
There was no immediate claim for responsibility for Wednesday’s attacks, but suicide and bomb attacks against security forces and outdoor markets are favorite tactics of al-Qaida’s local branch. The terror group has recently escalated its campaign of violence in order to thwart government efforts to maintain security.