Officials: Attacks kill 17 people in Iraq

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 24, 2013 at 3:32 pm •  Published: July 24, 2013
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BAGHDAD (AP) — Insurgents assaulted a police headquarters in northern Iraq early Wednesday, killing nine policemen, part of a series of attacks that left at least 17 dead in a growing surge of violence.

The attackers struck the town of Bashmaya outside the city of Mosul, one of the major flashpoints in a wave of bloodshed that has washed over the country since April and left more than 3,000 people dead. The scale of the violence is intensifying fears 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.

A police official said nine policemen were killed and two wounded in the initial attack. An ambulance rushing to the scene was hit by a roadside bomb, wounding the driver and his assistant, the official said.

A medical official confirmed the casualty figures. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not allowed to brief reporters.

Insurgents this year have frequently attacked security forces in Mosul, a longtime militant stronghold.

On Monday, a suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden car into an army convoy in Mosul, killing at least 13 people — including 10 soldiers. Police found the bodies of four off-duty policemen Tuesday on a road with bullet wounds in their heads. Gunmen in a speeding car also shot dead two other off-duty policemen as they were walking down a street.

Also Wednesday, a car bomb exploded as an army patrol passed by outside the northern city of Kirkuk, killing an officer and a solider, police Lt. Col. Abbas Qadir said. Five soldiers were wounded, he said. Kirkuk is 290 kilometers (180 miles) north of Baghdad.