Monday, Feb 19, 2018
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Suicide bombings, mortar attack kill at least 7 in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Iraq  — Suicide bombers and a gunman assaulted a police station in northern Iraq today, one of several attacks across the country that left seven dead.

They were the latest incidents in a wave of violence that has claimed more than 2,000 lives since the start of April. Militants, building on Sunni discontent with the Shiite-led government, appear to have grown stronger in central and northern Iraq.

The commander of the army’s 12th Division, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Khalaf, said the assault on the police station near the town of Hawija started with a gunman on foot opening fire on the guards. A suicide bomber with an explosives-laden belt then blew himself up in the reception area and a suicide car bomber rammed his vehicle into the building, Khalaf added. Three policemen were killed and five others wounded.

Hawija, a former insurgent stronghold, is about 240 kilometers (150 miles) north of Baghdad. The predominantly Sunni town and surrounding areas have been tense since April when Iraqi security forces launched a deadly crackdown on a Sunni protest there in which 23 people including three soldiers died.

In the nearby city of Tuz Khormato, 210 kilometers (130 miles) north of Baghdad, two parked car bombs went off in the early morning in a residential area, killing one civilian and wounding 27 others, a police officer said.

Also today, a mortar round hit a motel in central Baghdad, killing three civilians and wounding nine others, police added.

Two medical officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information.

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