12 security personnel killed in flurry of attacks across Iraq
Twelve Iraqi policemen and soliders were killed on Saturday while a car bomb exploded in a southern port, the latest in a surge of sectarian fulled violence that the authorities are failing to curb.
In Saturday’s deadliest attack, unidentified gunmen opened fire at dawn on an army outpost in Madain, a town south of Baghdad, leaving five soldiers dead, a police and medical source told AFP.
Among the fatalaties was a lieutenant colonel, according to AFP. The gunmen fled the scene following the ambush and security sources have launched a manhunt in the area.
Meanwhile, north of Baghdad, four policemen who had been buying ice near Tikrit were shot dead by militants. According to AFP, it is regular practice by the Iraqi army to buy ice to distribute across military checkpoints in a bid to cool officers down in the sweltering heat of Iraq in the summer.
In a third of a set of violent attacks, three soldiers were killed by gunmen in the restive Muqdadiyah area of Diyala province, AFP reported.
In the southern port of Umm Qasr, a truck rigged with explosives detonated in a nearby car park wounding three people and seriously damaging a docked ship and nearby vehicles.
The port’s operations were not affected a spokesman told AFP.
As of Sunday, no group had immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Sunni militant groups with links to Al Qaeda who oppose the Shiite-led govermnent often carry out attacks against official security forces.
Attacks have killed more than 3,480 people since the beginning of 2013, according to figures compiled by AFP.
Iraqi security forces are currently carrying out the largest scale security operations seen in the country since the withdrawal of US troops in 2011, but analysts studying the recent upswing in Iraqi violence say these measures are doing little to address the real cause of the violence.