Baghdad (AFP) Sept 8, 2010
A spate of bomb attacks and shootings in Iraq on Wednesday killed five people, including a television presenter, as Baghdad imposed a ban on motorcycles ahead of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr.
The violence, which left dozens wounded, came three days after a coordinated suicide attack on an Iraqi military complex in Baghdad killed 12 people and injured 36.
In the main northern city of Mosul, Sabah al-Khayat was shot dead in front of his house while departing for work at the Al-Mosuliyah satellite television station, where he presented a programme on mosques and shrines in the city.
"Armed men shot the journalist Sabah al-Khayat in front of his house in central Mosul while he was leaving for work," a police official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
His killing was the second such murder of a television journalist in Iraq in as many days, with Riad al-Saray, a prominent anchorman who presented political and religious programmes fo state broadcaster Al-Iraqiyah, killed on Tuesday in west Baghdad.
Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemned Saray's killing on Tuesday, and in a new report said the conflict in Iraq had resulted in the most deaths of journalists and media staff of any war since World War II.
Meanwhile, in Wednesday's deadliest attack, a vehicle packed with explosives was detonated and quickly followed by a roadside bomb near a bus terminal in the south Baghdad neighbourhood of Bayaa, killing two people.
Officials from the ministries of defence and interior, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said more than 20 others were wounded, including 10 members of the Iraqi security forces.
And on Al-Sheikh Omar street in the centre of the capital, two near-simultaneous roadside bombs killed one person and wounded a dozen others, the interior ministry official and a doctor said.
Baghdad Operations Command also said that it was enforcing a ban on motorcycles in the city until further notice, ahead of the three-day Eid al-Fitr festivities which could begin Thursday to mark the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.
Bans on motorcycles -- which have been used in deadly attacks in Iraq -- are often implemented around major holidays in the country.
Also on Wednesday, a farmer was killed in the central Iraqi town of Mayndili when his truck was struck by a roadside bomb inside his farm, said Major Mohammed al-Karkhi, spokesman for police in Diyala province north of Baghdad.
The motives for the attack, which also left his son wounded, was unclear.
The unrest comes a day after two American soldiers were gunned down by an Iraqi comrade following a row, US and Iraqi military officials said.
Violence has spiked in Iraq in recent months, with July and August recording the highest monthly death tolls here since mid-2008, according to figures released by local officials.
The country has been mired in a political stasis as no new government has formed since elections six months ago, and the latest attacks come a week after Washington declared an official end to combat operations here.
Nearly 50,000 American troops remain stationed in the country, though they have been charged with what has been labelled an "advise and assist" mission.
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