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Iraq attacks kill 3 civilians, seven police

Filed on July 3, 2011

RAMADI, Iraq — Seven policemen and three civilians were killed in a drive-by shooting and other attacks in Iraq on Sunday, police and interior ministry officials said.

‘At 8:30 am (0530 GMT), gunmen riding in a car and carrying automatic weapons killed five policemen guarding a checkpoint, before fleeing,’ said a police officer in the Anbar provincial capital of Ramadi, west of Baghdad.

He said the gunmen struck in the desert town of Rutbah, on the main highway leading from Baghdad towards Amman and Damascus.

Anbar province was an Al Qaeda stronghold until 2008 when US commanders began recruiting Sunni Arab tribesmen and former insurgents to form militias which turned the tide against the jihadists.

Another policemen was killed by a gunman using a silencer in west Baghdad, while in the capital’s centre a magnetic ‘sticky bomb’ that attaches to vehicles killed two civilians, an interior ministry official said.

Meanwhile, in the main northern city of Mosul, gunmen killed one policeman and wounded a second, police said. And in the northern oil hub of Kirkuk, a roadside bomb killed a civilian and wounded another, police said.

Last month was the deadliest this year in terms of the number of Iraqis killed in attacks, according to government figures. It was the deadliest since June 2008 for US troops, who are due to withdraw by the end of this year.

A total of 271 Iraqis and 14 US soldiers lost their lives in June.

Iraq has blamed Al Qaeda for the increased death toll, which was up 34 percent on May. But the US military holds Iranian-backed Shia militias responsible for the deadly attacks on its troops.

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