A total of 14 people were killed and 40 others wounded on Monday in bomb and gunfire attacks in central and eastern Iraq, the Iraqi police said.
The deadliest incident occurred in Iraq’s eastern province of Diyala early in the morning, when a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into the entrance of the local government compound in the town of Kan’an, some 20 km east of the provincial capital city of Baquba.
The suicide bomber blew up his vehicle outside a two-storey building in the compound and totally destroyed it, a provincial police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
The powerful blast killed 11 soldiers, and wounded another 14 soldiers along with 15 government officials, the source said.
Iraqi security forces sealed off the area to secure the scene as rescue teams were removing debris of the building. Several ambulances and civilian vehicles transferred the victims of the blast to the town’s hospital and the main hospital in Baquba City, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, he said.
An anonymous local police source told Xinhua that they found a booby-trapped car about 400 meters away from the government compound, but the police experts managed to blew it up without casualties.
The town’s authorities blocked the entrances of the town and imposed indefinite curfew, as dozens of policemen and Iraqi army soldiers stationed at the main streets and many military vehicles were seen patrolling the town, the local police source said.
“We believe that the attack holds the fingerprints of al-Qaida terrorist organization,” Jalil al-Hassan, a member of Diyala’s provincial council, told Xinhua.
“There is a dereliction of duty in the implementation of the security plans which caused this security breach,” said Hassan, who is also a member of the security committee in the provincial council.
Diyala province, which stretches from the eastern edges of Baghdad to the Iranian border, has long been the stronghold of al- Qaida militant groups and hotbed of insurgency and sectarian violence since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
In Abu Ghraib area, just west of Baghdad, gunmen opened fire from their assault rifles on a car, seriously wounding an Awakening Council group member in the car and killing his wife, a local police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
The Awakening Council group, or al-Sahwa in Arabic, consists of armed groups, including some powerful anti-U.S. Sunni insurgent groups, who turned their rifles against the al-Qaida network after the latter exercised indiscriminate killings against both Shiite and Sunni Muslim communities.
In a separate incident, a gunman on his motorcycle opened fire from a pistol fitted with silencer on a policeman in the city of Fallujah, some 50 km west of Baghdad, shot him dead and fled the scene, an anonymous local police source told Xinhua.
Insurgent attacks continue in the once volatile Sunni Arab area, which stretches through Anbar province to Iraq’s western borders with Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
In Baghdad, a roadside bomb went off in a thoroughfare in the western district of Amriyah, killing a civilian and wounding two others. The blast also damaged several shops nearby, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
Another roadside bomb detonated near a police patrol in al- Ameen district in southeastern Baghdad damaged a police vehicle and wounded three policemen aboard, the source said.
Two passersby were also wounded by the blast, the source added.
A third roadside bomb ripped through Baghdad’s southern district of Doura, wounding two civilians, while a fourth roadside bomb detonated at an intersection in Karrada district in the south of the capital and wounded a civilian, the source said.
Violence and sporadic high-profile bomb attacks continue in the Iraqi cities despite the dramatic decrease of violence over the past few years.