Iraq gunmen kill six during funeral rites

Published Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Updated at 7:15pm: Attacks in central Iraq killed 20 people on Tuesday, including six shot dead when gunmen stormed a house where a corpse was being ritually washed ahead of a funeral.

The violence is the latest in a surge in unrest that has left more than 4,000 people dead so far this year.

Authorities have sought to tackle the country's worst unrest since 2008 with wide-ranging operations targeting militants as well as tight traffic measures in the capital, but attacks have continued to rock many cities.

In Tuesday's deadliest attack, gunmen stormed a house in the town of Yusufiyah and killed six people, including two women, as they were ritually cleansing the body of a man ahead of his funeral, a police officer and a doctor at a nearby hospital said.

Also among the victims was the dead man's son.

Two more people were killed and seven others were wounded in the nearby town of Latifiyah by a roadside bomb near a cafe

Latifiyah has seen a spike in bloodletting in recent weeks, including separate early morning attacks by gunmen on two families.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, three separate car bombs near Baquba, north of Baghdad left 10 people dead and dozens wounded, security and medical officials said.

And in the northern city of Mosul, two people, including a policeman, were gunned down by militants, while three bodies were found in northern Iraq as well.

In a failed attempt to assassinate the governor of northern Salaheddin province, gunmen opened fire on his convoy, wounding five of his guards.

Violence has surged in Iraq, with more than 4,000 people killed since the beginning of 2013, according to an AFP tally.

The spike in bloodletting has sparked concerns Iraq is slipping back towards the all-out war that engulfed it in 2006 and 2007.

Officials have vowed to press on with a campaign targeting militants they say has led to the capture of hundreds of fighters and the killing of dozens more.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

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