Overnight attacks in Iraq kill at least 16 people
In one of the attacks, mortar rounds rained down on Shiite neighbourhoods in the town of Mahmoudiya last night, killing 11 civilians and wounding 31, a police official said. The mixed Shiite-Sunni town is about 30 kilometres (20 miles) south of Baghdad. And in Baghdad’s western suburb of Abu Ghraib, a roadside bomb struck an army patrol, killing two soldiers and three volunteers who took up arms following the Sunni militant push across Iraq in recent weeks. Eighth people were wounded in that attack, said the police official.
Two medical officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorised to talk to media. In early January, al-Qaida breakaway extremist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, seized control of the city of Fallujah, west of Baghdad, as well as parts of the nearby city of Ramadi, the provincial capital of western Anbar province.