At least 26 killed, 32 wounded in Iraq violence

March 20th, 2008 - 12:05 am ICT by admin  

Baghdad, March 19 (DPA) At least 26 people were killed and 32 others wounded in separate attacks across Iraq, US military and police and media reports said Wednesday. In Baquba, 60 km north of Baghdad, five people were killed Wednesday and 16 wounded when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives belt in a public market, Iraqi police told DPA.

The police suspected said that a female suicide bomber might have carried out the attack.

The bomb also damaged nearby stores in the market.

Another suicide bomb left 11 Iraqi soldiers and three civilians wounded in the northern city of Mosul, the Voices of Iraq (VOI) news agency said.

Security sources told VOI that a suicide bomber detonated his vehicle, targeting an Iraqi patrol in the Intisar district of Mosul.

In another development, some 17 border guards have been shot dead by gunmen in different areas in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, police sources said.

The killings occurred over the last 24 hours.

The sources did not say whether the killings were carried out by the same gunmen and 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 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.

Separately, US military confirmed that three Iraqi policemen were killed and another was injured “by mistake” Wednesday by a US patrol in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk.

An Iraqi police patrol from the southern Rashad district was heading for Jawija, to the southwest of Kirkuk, when it was shot at by a US patrol by mistake.

US-led multinational forces explained that the police officers entered into a previously cordoned area at a high rate of speed and their vehicle was perceived as a threat.

The incident is currently under investigation, the US military said.

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