Iraq attacks kill 12 security personnel
18 August, 2013
BAGHDAD: Gunmen killed 12 policemen and soldiers while a truck bomb hit a port in Iraq on Saturday, the latest in a surge in violence that authorities have failed to curb.
Security forces have in recent weeks carried out some of their biggest operations since the 2011 withdrawal of US forces, but analysts and diplomats have said authorities have not addressed the root causes of the violence.
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has nevertheless vowed to press on with the campaign in a bid to combat Iraq's worst violence since 2008, and on Saturday the interior ministry's spokesman announced the killing of an alleged senior al Qaeda-linked militant.
In Saturday's deadliest attack, gunmen opened fire on an army post in the town of Madain, just southeast of Baghdad, in a pre-dawn attack that left five soldiers dead and three others wounded, police and a medical source said. Among the dead was a lieutenant colonel. The gunmen fled the scene after the attack, and security forces, who cordoned off the scene, launched a manhunt.
North of Baghdad, militants shot dead four police who were buying ice near the city of Tikrit.
Security forces often purchase large blocks of ice to distribute to nearby checkpoints in order to cope with Iraq's sweltering summer heat.