More dead as Iraqi forces take over security in southern province
A suicide bomber struck the council headquarters of an Iraqi town northeast of Baghdad on Thursday, killing six people and injuring three others, local police said.
The suicide bomber detonated himself in the council headquarters of Abu Saida, a town near Iraq's city of Baquba, killing six people, including four council members, according to the police.
Elsewhere, an "insurgent" died and 17 others were injured after a joint unit from Iraqi and US forces stormed their hideout in Al-Ameria western Baghdad, the US army said Thursday. A statement by the US army said that according to military intelligence, the "insurgents," who are involved in the killing of four Iraqi policemen, were seen near the Muluki mosque in Al-America.
Meanwhile, Iraq formally took over security of a southern province from British-led forces on Thursday, the first area outside the Kurdish region to be handed over to Iraqi control since the U.S. invasion in 2003.
"If this experience fails, this could lead to a big setback which could affect our efforts to control security," Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki told a military ceremony in Samawa, capital of Muthanna province. "Terrorists who want to disrupt the handover of security and the success of the national unity government will not spare any effort to sabotage this step," Maliki said.