17 border guards killed in Iraq

March 19th, 2008 - 8:48 pm ICT by admin  

Baghdad, March 19 (DPA) Police said Wednesday 17 border guards have been shot dead by gunmen in different areas in the southern Iraqi city of Basra. The police did not say whether the killings were carried out by the same gunmen or what the motive behind them was.

Criminal gangs and militias loyal to rival political powers have been active in Shia-dominated Basra, 550 km south of Baghdad.

In a separate incident in the city, Sheikh Abdel-Azim al-Idani, a close aide of senior Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, was critically wounded in an attack by gunmen Tuesday, according to the same the sources.

Al-Idani’s aide was killed in the attack.

Basra has recently seen a wave of assassinations targeting senior security officials, academics and clerics.

The Iraqi government has sent reinforcements to the city to crack down on criminal activities and a surge in sectarian violence.

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