More than 20 Iraqis dead as PM in Washington
Six police and eight civilians died in a series of attacks in and around Baghdad, police said. As night fell on Monday, gunmen ambushed an Iraqi police unit in central Baghdad, triggering a gunbattle in which six officers died and 30 were wounded.
The clash took place on Haifa Street near the west bank of the Tigris River, north of the fortified Green Zone, AFP reported.
On Tuesday, two roadside bombs went off in the city, killing two civilians and wounding two bystanders and a policeman.
In another attack, a family of Shiites was ambushed by gunmen as they fled a mainly Sunni neighbourhood south of the city, medical and defence officials said. Two of the family were killed and one was wounded when their removal van was sprayed with bullets.
Four other civilians were shot dead around the capital, two of them in drive-by shootings, while the corpses of two tortured murder victims were also found by the roadside, police said.
Out of the capital, the head of Saddam Hussein's tribe was killed when gunmen attacked a meeting in the office of a prominent sheikh in Tikrit, police said Tuesday. Mahmoud Ali Hussein al-Nida, head of the Baijat tribe, died following the attack around 7:30 p.m. Monday. The gunmen also shot dead a lawyer and injured sheikh Mizahim al-Mustafa, police Lt. Ahmed Asaad said. Two other civilians caught in the crossfire also died, Asaad said, according to the AP.
The Baijat tribe includes several clans, including Saddam's Albu-Nassir clan.
In other violence Tuesday, police in Diyala province said five bodies were uncovered on the streets in Muqdadiyah, about 60 miles north of Baghdad.
At least seven others were wounded when a roadside bomb went off near a passing minivan around 9:30 a.m. in east Baghdad. All were hospitalized, police said.
Gunmen also killed a police officer in front of his office in Mosul, police said.
The attacks were reported as Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was in Washington on Tuesday to discuss the situation with his main ally and talk up his government's plan to take full responsibility for security.