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Double bombing kills six in Iraq

More than 30 people were injured in today’s bombing in Baqouba.

File photo of Iraqi, Kurdish and US forces during a training exercise.
File photo of Iraqi, Kurdish and US forces during a training exercise.
Image: AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo/PA Image

A PAIR OF near-simultaneous bombings killed six security guards who were waiting in line to pick up their paychecks outside an Iraqi military base, officials said today.

At least 35 people were wounded in the double-bombing near Baqouba, 60km north-east of Baghdad, said Diyala Health Directorate spokesman Faris al-Azawi.

“We are trying our best to deal with this situation,” al-Azawi said.

The attack started with a suicide bomber who joined the line of the guards known as Sahwa, and detonated himself around 8 am, according to an Interior Ministry official speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to release the information.

Two minutes later, a car bomb blew up about 30 metres away.

The dead all were members of Sahwa, or Awakening Councils — a Sunni militia that sided with US forces against al-Qaida in a major turning point of the war. The Sahwa have since been targeted by insurgents who call them traitors.

An official at the Baqouba general hospital said at least five soldiers were among the wounded.

Violence has dropped dramatically across Iraq, but deadly bombings and shootings still happen nearly every day. Some officials have warned of an increase in attacks as the US withdraws all of its 33,000 troops from Iraq by the end of the year.

An Iraqi army intelligence officer said authorities have reliable intelligence that al-Qaida sleeper cells plan to launch attacks in Baqouba and across Diyala province as US troops withdraw and afterward. The officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the intelligence is confidential, said al-Qaida aims to show Iraqis it is still able to strike.

Officials long have said that al-Qaida’s current top aim in Iraq is to destabilise the Shiite-led government. Among the terror group’s top targets have been government and security officials.

Thursday’s attacks follow a triple bombing late Wednesday in the southern oil port city of Basra, which killed seven people sitting at nearby cafes.

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Associated Press

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