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Militants in Iraq ambush truck convoy, kill 14

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 25, 2013 at 4:44 am •  Published: July 25, 2013

BAGHDAD (AP) — Militants ambushed a truck convoy with Iraqi Shiites in a remote area in the country's north and killed 14 drivers, police said Thursday, the latest in a series of brazen attacks aiming to further destabilize the nation.

The attackers first fired mortar rounds at a nearby military base and bombed a communication tower to draw security forces' attention away before intercepting the convoy late Wednesday night near Sarha village, said Col. Hussein Ali Rasheed. The village is located just outside the northern city of Tuz Khormato, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) north of Baghdad.

According to Rasheed, the city's police chief, all the casualties were Shiite truck drivers from Baghdad and their assistants. Their bodies were found with gunshots to the head, he said.

Further north, in the city of Kirkuk, a parked car bomb targeted a passing police patrol on Thursday morning, critically wounding six policemen, police Col. Salah Abdul-Qadir said. Kirkuk is 290 kilometers (180 miles) north of Baghdad.

Across Iraq, insurgents have in the recent months escalated attacks on civilians and government forces. The violence has reached levels not seen since 2008, fueling worries of a return to the widespread sectarian killing that pushed the country to the brink of civil war after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. More than 3,000 people have been killed since April.

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