Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Seven people killed in Iraq attacks

A policeman searches a man outside the Virgin Mary Chaldean Church before Easter mass at Virgin Mary Chaldean Church in Baghdad, Iraq (AP)
A policeman searches a man outside the Virgin Mary Chaldean Church before Easter mass at Virgin Mary Chaldean Church in Baghdad, Iraq (AP)

Seven people have been killed in attacks in Baghdad and in the western city of Fallujah, including a mosque preacher who was gunned down outside a sweet shop, according to Iraqi officials.

A police officer said assailants shot dead the preacher, Sheik Talib Zuwayid of the al-Baraa mosque in Fallujah, along with his nephew and another man. A health official confirmed the deaths and said another man was injured.

Residents said Mr Zuwayid was one of the organisers of weekly Sunni demonstrations against the Shia-led government that have been taking place for the past three months. The police officer however said it was unclear if the killings were related to the protests.

Immediately after he was killed, residents hung up posters announcing the man's death on Fallujah's main road.

In the Iraqi capital, two separate explosions killed four people and wounded 14. Two police officers said a bomb attached to a policeman's car exploded early this morning in the capital's northern Kazimiyah neighbourhood, killing an officer and a bystander and wounding five others.

In another incident, two other police officers said a suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden car into an army checkpoint in Baghdad's western suburb of Abu Ghraib, killing two soldiers and wounding nine people, of which four were civilians.

Two health officials confirmed the causalities.

Police and military personnel are favourite targets of militants seeking to undermine the Iraqi government's efforts to maintain security.

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