13 killed in shootings and car bombing in Iraq

September 3, 2013 4:28:32 AM PDT
Shootings and a car bombing in Baghdad killed 13 people Tuesday, including an anti-al-Qaida militant and his family, in the latest bout of violence to hit Iraq amid an extended wave of sectarian killings this year, officials said.

The deadliest attack came when gunmen stormed the house of the Sunni militia member opposed to the terror group, killing him and his wife and three children in a southern suburb, police and hospital officials said.

The militia, known as Sahwa, joined U.S. troops in the war against al-Qaida at the height of Iraq war and has been a target ever since for al-Qaida linked Sunni insurgents who consider them traitors.

Prominent Sahwa leader Wisam al-Hardan managed to escape unharmed an assassination attempt on Monday by two suicide bombers, but six of his bodyguards and a bystander were killed.

Elsewhere in Iraq Tuesday, a car bomb blew up at a restaurant in the town of Jbala just south of the capital, killing two people and wounding seven others.

Gunmen shot two people dead in Baghdad's southern Dora neighborhood and four bodies with gunshot wounds to the back were found in different locations around the Iraqi capital, the officials said. The discovery of the bodies was reminiscent of sectarian violence that engulfed the country several years ago, when corpses littered the streets.

Violence in Iraq has intensified since April to levels not seen since 2008. More than 4,000 people have been killed over the past five months alone, including more than 800 in August, according to figures provided by United Nations officials based in Iraq.

No one claimed responsibility for Tuesday's attacks, but they bore the hallmark of al-Qaida in Iraq and other Sunni insurgent groups.

Hospital officials confirmed the casualty figures, and all of the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

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