With the latest violence, at least 157 people have died in attacks in Iraq since June 13
An Iraqi policeman secures an area in Baghdad in December 2011. A roadside bomb killed at least six people near the Iraqi capital on Friday, and gunmen with silenced weapons also shot dead three police officers in the city, security and medical officials said. © Ahmad al-Rubaye - AFP/File
With the latest violence, at least 157 people have died in attacks in Iraq since June 13
AFP
Last updated: June 22, 2012

Nine dead after Baghdad bombing and shooting

Attacks in Iraq killed at least 12 people and wounded dozens more on Friday, security and medical officials said, in the latest in a wave of violence across the country.

A roadside bomb tore through the main market in Al-Husseiniyah, a Shiite-majority area on Baghdad's northeast outskirts, and another went off after emergency personnel arrived, an interior ministry official said.

A medical source at Sheikh al-Dhari hospital said the facility had received eight bodies and more than 50 wounded from the blasts, while a health ministry source put the toll at 13 dead and about 150 wounded.

Meanwhile, gunmen with silenced weapons opened fire on a police checkpoint in Bayaa in south Baghdad, killing three policemen, the interior ministry official said. The toll was confirmed by the health ministry source.

And a suicide car bombing and mortar rounds killed one person and wounded 12 in Samarra, a Sunni-majority city north of Baghdad that houses the Shiite Al-Askari shrine, which is visited by tens of thousands of pilgrims each year.

The shrine was bombed in February 2006, triggering a wave of sectarian bloodshed in which tens of thousands of Iraqis were killed.

The violence was brought under control only after Sunni tribes turned against the insurgents and the United States sent in thousands of additional soldiers in a troop "surge."

The suicide bomber on Friday targeted a police checkpoint at the southern entrance of Samarra, killing an Iranian pilgrim and wounding 10 other people.

Seven Iranian pilgrims, two police and a soldier were wounded, a police lieutenant colonel and a medical source from Samarra hospital said.

Two more Iranian pilgrims were wounded by two mortar rounds that exploded in the area, the same sources said.

Also on Friday, the beheaded body of a four-year-old girl kidnapped the day before was found in the town of Ishaqi, south of Samarra, a police lieutenant colonel said.

The kidnappers had demanded a ransom of 10 million Iraqi dinars (about $8,330), but the father refused to pay, the officer said.

With the latest violence, at least 161 people have died in attacks in Iraq mainly targeting the Shiite community in the past 10 days -- more than the number of people killed during the entire month of May, according to official figures.

On June 13, 72 people were killed in a string of attacks across the country that were later claimed by Al-Qaeda's front group, the Islamic State of Iraq.

Along with the security forces, Iraq's Shiite majority has been a main target of Sunni Arab armed groups since the 2003 overthrow of Saddam Hussein's Sunni-dominated regime.

While violence in Iraq has declined dramatically since its peak in 2006-2007, attacks remain common. A total of 132 Iraqis were killed in violence in May, according to official figures.

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