Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Iraq: Eight killed in Baquba

At least eight people have been killed and dozens more injured when a group of gunmen stormed an Iraqi provincial council building in the central city of Baquba. The attack, in which hostages are believed to have been taken, in Diyala province's capital is the latest test for Iraqi forces as they prepare for the withdrawal of US troops at the end of the year.

Iraqi officials say that the death toll is likely to rise as the gunmen are still inside the building. The eight casualties were victims of a suicide bomber who detonated a car bomb before the gunmen took to the building.

The attack in Baquba, north-east of Baghdad, mirrored a similar attack by suspected Al-Qa'ida insurgents on the Salaheddin government offices in Tikrit on 29th March, leaving more than 50 people dead.

Violence in Iraq has eased since the peak of sectarian fighting in 2006-2007, but Sunni and Shi'a militias still carry out almost daily bombings and killings, which some fear might escalate with the withdrawal of US troops.

Sources: BBC News, The Daily Telegraph, Reuters

For more news and expert analysis about Iraq, please see Iraq Focus.

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