News / Middle East

At Least 20 People Killed in Attacks Across Iraq - Police

An Iraqi soldier stands guard as Shi'ite pilgrims walk to the holy city of Kerbala, ahead of the religious ceremony of Arbain, in Baghdad, Dec. 21, 2013.
An Iraqi soldier stands guard as Shi'ite pilgrims walk to the holy city of Kerbala, ahead of the religious ceremony of Arbain, in Baghdad, Dec. 21, 2013.
Reuters
At least 20 people were killed in a spate of attacks across Iraq on Monday that included the seizure by gunmen of a television station, the targeting of Shi'ite Muslim pilgrims and a desert offensive by the army.
 
Two years after the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, violence is at its highest levels since the sectarian bloodshed of 2006-7, when tens of thousands of people were killed.
 
Al-Qaida-linked Sunni militants have recently stepped up attacks on Iraqi security forces, civilians and anyone seen as supporting the Shi'ite-led government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
 
In the northern city of Tikrit, four gunmen wearing explosive vests seized the building of the local government channel Salahuddin after detonating a parked car bomb near the entrance, police sources said.
 
Security forces retook the building after killing the militants in a firefight.
 
“Two of the attackers blew themselves up when security forces raided the station and the others were killed in the clashes before they managed to detonate the explosive vests they were wearing,” a senior police officer told Reuters.
 
The militants killed four employees of the station, including a female presenter, a program director and a news editor, the police sources said.
 
“Iron hammer"
 
In a desert region of the Sunni-dominated western Anbar province, the Iraqi military launched an operation against militants a day after at least 18 soldiers including a division commander were killed in the area.
 
The operation - codenamed “Iron Hammer” - was being carried out “to avenge the martyr Mohammed al-Kurwi”, Maliki said in a statement, referring to the commander of the army's Seventh Division, who was killed in the attack.
 
Islamist militants had targeted the commander over his role in a raid on a Sunni protest camp in April.
 
Military officials described the operation as the largest launched by Iraqi forces since U.S. troops withdrew and said they had killed at least 20 militants and had taken control of several areas so far.
 
It was not possible to independently verify the reports.
 
Separately, the Iraqi capital was hit by a string of bombings and shootings.
 
In eastern Baghdad, gunmen opened fire on a bus ferrying Shi'ite pilgrims to the city of Karbala south of the capital to mark the holy Shi'ite day of Arbaeen on Tuesday, killing two people and wounding three, police said.
 
A further three people were killed and eight wounded when a roadside bomb went off in a commercial street in the Tobchi district of northern Baghdad.
 
Gunmen using silenced weapons shot dead four people in a mainly Sunni district of southern Baghdad and three Iraqi soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb in the western outskirt of Abu Ghraib, police said.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs