Iraq attacks kill 10 with elections due in weeks
Published Sunday 06/04/2014 (updated) 07/04/2014 19:26
Police and soldiers patrol in the city of Ramadi, the capital of Iraq's
Anbar province, west of Baghdad on March 29, 2014
(AFP Azhar Shallal)
BAGHDAD (AFP) -- Attacks killed 10 civilians in Iraq on Sunday while six militants also died as the country grapples with its worst bloodshed in years just weeks before parliamentary elections.
Among those killed were six who died in a mass assassination south of Baghdad, in scenes reminiscent of the worst of Iraq's 2006-07 sectarian conflict in which tens of thousands were killed.
The surge in violence has left more than 2,400 people dead so far this year.
It is principally driven by anger in the Sunni Arab minority over alleged mistreatment at the hands of the Shiite-led authorities, as well as spillover from the war in neighboring Syria.
The deadliest of the bloodshed on Sunday struck in Latifiyah, south of Baghdad within the confessionally mixed Triangle of Death, so called because of the brutal violence which plagued the area during the peak of Iraq's confessional war.
Six Sunni Arabs were killed by militants, security and medical officials said, but accounts differed as to how they died.
Two officials reported a family of six were stabbed to death, while others said six Sunni men were taken from various houses in the town and shot dead.
Attacks also struck in the restive northern provinces of Kirkuk, Nineveh, and Salaheddin, leaving four people dead, while six militants were also killed.
Diplomats and analysts have urged the authorities to reach out to the Sunni community to undermine support for militancy.
But with parliamentary elections looming at the end of this month, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and other Shiite leaders have been loath to be seen to compromise.
Near-daily bloodshed is part of a long list of voter concerns that also include lengthy power cuts, poor waste water treatment, rampant corruption and high unemployment.