by Staff Writers
Baghdad (AFP) May 06, 2014
Clashes near an Iraqi city held by anti-government fighters and bombings targeting soldiers killed at least eight people Tuesday, officials said, the latest casualties of a protracted surge of nationwide violence.
The government has blamed external factors such as the civil war in neighbouring Syria for the bloodshed, but analysts and diplomats say anger among the Sunni Arab minority over alleged mistreatment by the Shiite-led authorities has played a major role in the violence.
In Al-Amriyah, south of the city of Fallujah, militants attacked a security forces checkpoint early on Tuesday, sparking clashes.
The violence killed three children and a woman and wounded 15 people, Doctor Ahmed Shami said.
The toll for security forces and militants was not immediately clear.
In a sign of both the reach of anti-government militants and the weakness of security forces, all of Fallujah, a short drive from Baghdad, and shifting parts of Anbar provincial capital Ramadi, farther west, have been out of government control since early January.
In Abu Ghraib, also west of the capital, a roadside bomb exploded near an army patrol, killing at least one soldier and wounding three, a police colonel and a medical official said.
And another blast in Jurf al-Sakhr, south of Baghdad, killed three soldiers and wounded six, a police captain and a doctor said.
The violence comes days after parliamentary elections, with premier Nuri al-Maliki seeking a third term despite the deteriorating security situation and widespread political opposition.
More than 3,000 people have been killed already this year, according to an AFP tally based on security and medical reports.
The unrest is Iraq's worst since it emerged from brutal Sunni-Shiite sectarian fighting that killed tens of thousands in 2006 and 2007.
Iraq: The first technology war of the 21st century
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|