At least 20, including two US troops, killed in Iraq attacks
At least 18 Iraqis and two U.S. Marines were killed in incidents starting Wednesday night in Iraq, it was reported on Thursday.
In the deadliest incident, armed men stopped a minibus south of Kirkuk, ordered army recruits off the vehicle and shot dead 12 of them, said Maj. Gen. Anwar Mohammed Amin. According to The AP, the attackers allowed two of the soldiers to go free and ordered them to warn others against joining Iraq's U.S.-backed security forces.
The assailants identified themselves as members of Takfir wa Hijra.
Elsewhere, gunmen fired on a vehicle carrying Iraqi contractors Thursday to jobs at a U.S. military base in Baqouba north of the capital, killing two people, officials said. Two civilians were killed and six wounded Wednesday night when attackers fired mortar shells at a U.S. base in Tal Afar, some 50 kms west of Mosul.
Elsewhere, a car bomb went off at a house used by U.S. military snipers in Qaem, near the Syrian border, witnesses said. Other American soldiers opened fire, hitting some civilians, the witnesses said.
In the south, gunmen overran a police station in the city of Samawah, killing one Iraqi policeman and injuring two others Wednesday night, Japan's Kyodo news agency reported.
An Iraqi soldier died Thursday as assailants opened fire as he was leaving his home in Baghdad, officials said. The governor of Anbar province, west of the capital, escaped assassination Thursday when a roadside bomb exploded near his car in Ramadi. Gov. Qaoud al-Namrawi was not harmed, but a woman was wounded when his guards opened fire.
Both Marines were killed in clashes Wednesday in Anbar province, which includes such cities and towns as Ramadi, Fallujah and Qaem.