Three police killed in Baghdad liquor store blasts
Successive bombings targeting an alcohol shop on Baghdad’s western outskirts killed three policemen at the beginning of the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, a security official said on Wednesday.
An Iraqi policeman was also killed by an improvised explosive device (IED) on Wednesday, while an army officer and two members of an anti-Qaeda militia were killed in attacks the day before.
The blasts at the alcohol shop occurred late on Tuesday in the suburb of Rasala and also left 14 other people wounded, including three policemen, the interior ministry official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
At around 10:00 pm (1900 GMT), a roadside bomb initially detonated near the store, wounding nine people. When police arrived at the scene, another explosion took place.
The explosions come shortly after the beginning of Ramadan, during which Muslims abstain from food, drink and sex from dawn until dusk. Ramadan began on Monday for Iraq’s Sunnis and a day later for the country’s majority Shiites.
The interior ministry official also said that one Iraqi policeman was killed and three Iraqi translators wounded in the Wednesday IED attack in Al-Rusafa prison complex, and that two US soldiers were also killed in the attack.
But a spokesman for US forces in Iraq said that there was an IED attack in the Rusafa area, but that it did not result in any US casualties.
He said the attack targeted a convoy, but he did not know if the attack occurred inside or outside the prison complex.
Meanwhile, unidentified gunmen on Tuesday evening shot dead Iraqi army Lieutenant Colonel Azad Mohammed Ahmed in the Khadra area in the south of Kirkuk while he was driving to his house with one of his guards.
And two explosions on Tuesday night within the central Baghdad compound of Shiite cleric and politician Ayad Jamal Adin wounded him and two others, security officials said.
It was unclear how the bombs were placed within Adin’s compound in the Jadriyah neighbourhood, according to the interior ministry official and a senior counter-terrorism official.
Adin is a former MP who unsuccessfully campaigned for a seat in parliament in March 2010 elections on a secular anti-Iran platform.
On Tuesday morning, two members of an anti-Qaeda tribal militia, the Sahwa, which turned against Al-Qaeda and sided with the US military from late 2006, were shot dead north of the city of Baquba by unknown gunmen, an Iraqi army colonel said.
Violence in Iraq has declined from its peak in 2006 and 2007, but attacks remain common. A total of 259 Iraqis were killed in attacks in July, the second-highest figure for 2011.