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Bombings, shooting kill 16 in Iraq

By The Associated Press

This article was published March 22, 2014 at 11:12 a.m.

— A series of attacks across Iraq killed 16 members of the security forces and civilians on Saturday, officials said.

Separately, a Kurdish officer in the Iraqi president's guard is alleged to have shot dead the head of a local radio station during a quarrel near the leader's east Baghdad residence, police said.

The police said Mohammed Bedwei was shot at a checkpoint by a lieutenant in the mostly Kurdish security detail for Jalal Talabani, an ethnic Kurd.

The accused killer was handed over to Iraqi security forces that have besieged the residency compound, police and state TV said.

Talabani suffered a stroke last year and is being treated in Germany. Few details have been released about his health since then.

Many in Baghdad resent the presence of ethnically Kurdish security forces, dubbed the peshmerga, who guard Kurdish VIPs in Baghdad.

State-run TV showed Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki arriving at the crime scene near the presidential palace. "All the people behind this should stand trial. Blood for blood and this is a violation of the law," he said

Meanwhile a series of blasts struck across the country. Police officials said the wave began with a roadside bomb in a commercial street in the northern city of Tikrit. Minutes later, a car bomb struck policemen who had arrived to inspect the site of the first blast.

The officials say five policemen and two civilians were killed and 18 people were wounded in the bombings. Tikrit is 80 miles north of Baghdad.

Hours later, police said a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into a security checkpoint near the town of Adeim about 60 miles north of Baghdad. Three civilians and three police were killed.

Also, a roadside bomb hit a military checkpoint near the northern city of Mosul, killing two soldiers and wounding three others, according to the police.

The Iraqi security forces are a favorite target for Sunni insurgents who attempt to undermine the Shiite-led government.

Violence has spiked in Iraq since last April, a surge unseen since 2008. The relentless attacks have become the government's most serious challenge.

In the southern city of Basra, gunmen shot dead police Col. Madhi Ashour, the head of the crime investigation department in the city as he was walking near his house, said police.

Violence is less common in the Shiite-dominated south, although Shiite militias and criminal gangs operate there.

Medical officials confirmed the casualty figures from all attacks. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to the media.


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tressiewilkinsyahoocom says... March 22, 2014 at 3:51 p.m.

It is a real shame that Arkansans can read world news for free in the local newspaper via the internet but cannot read local city news for free via the internet. I am more concerned about what is going on in my own city than anywhere else. Is that why we have to pay? Hello somebody!

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