Saturday, May 18, 2013

13 killed, 10 police kidnapped in Iraq Sunni-Shia violence

RAMADI, Iraq (Reuters) - Suspected Sunni Muslim militants killed four state-backed Sunni fighters in Iraq on Saturday, security sources said, apparently viewing them as collaborators with the Shi'ite-led government of a nation plagued by sectarian hatred.

Sunni-Shi'ite tensions in Iraq have been amplified by the conflict between mostly Sunni rebels and President Bashar al-Assad's Alawite-dominated forces in neighbouring Syria.

The four "Sahwa" militia fighters were killed in an attack on their headquarters on the outskirts of Garma, 9 km (six miles) east of Falluja, a city in the western province of Anbar.

Gunmen also ambushed and kidnapped 10 Sunni policemen near Ramadi, the capital of Anbar, a Sunni heartland bordering Syria.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, but Sunni militant groups have been behind previous violence targeting security forces in a campaign to destabilise the Baghdad government, which they reject as illegitimate. [...]

In other violence, tribesmen clashed with security forces and set four of their vehicles ablaze after a woman and three of her young children were killed in an army raid north of Ramadi.

A car bomb parked near an entrance to the town of Latifiya, south of Baghdad, killed five people, police said.