Iraq violence kills eight, police kidnapped

Baghdad, May 19: Violence in Iraq today killed eight people including a police officer, his wife and two children, and gunmen also kidnapped five police officers.

Gunmen broke into the home of the administrator for the Rashid area, south of Baghdad, killing one of his guards, an interior ministry official said.

They then moved to the nearby house of Captain Adnan al-Obaidi, a member of a police anti-terrorism unit, and killed him, his wife and their two children, the official said.

A medical official confirmed the toll.
Gunmen also shot dead the imam of a Sunni mosque near the main southern port city of Basra, police and a Sunni official said.

Near Ramadi, west of Baghdad, security forces tried to arrest Mohammed Khamis Abu Risha, who is wanted in connection with the killing of five soldiers, sparking clashes with armed tribesmen in which two of them were killed, police said.

Abu Risha is the nephew of powerful tribal sheikh Ahmed Abu Risha, who is a key supporter of Sunni anti-government protesters in Anbar province and who led the uprising against Al-Qaeda in the province from 2007.

The nephew confirmed to the news agency that two members of his tribe were killed.

Hundreds of gunmen then gathered in the area of the Anbar Operations Command headquarters near Ramadi, police said.

Staff Lieutenant General Murdhi al-Mahalawi, head of the Anbar Operations Command, told reporters gunmen kidnapped five police in the Ramadi area.

A police lieutenant colonel had earlier said that 10 security force personnel were kidnapped in the incident.

The area is one of the main centres of the Sunni protest movement in Iraq, which began almost five months ago.

Demonstrators from the Sunni Arab minority accuse the authorities of marginalising and targeting their community, including through wrongful detentions and accusations of involvement in terrorism.

While the government has made some concessions, such as freeing prisoners and raising the salaries of Sunni anti-Al-Qaeda fighters, underlying issues have not been addressed.

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Courtesy:ISTV Imphal


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