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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid