Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Five policemen killed at a checkpoint near Iraq's Jordanian and Syrian borders

Reports have emerged that five policemen have been killed at a checkpoint near Iraq's Jordanian and Syrian borders. According to reports, gunmen in the western province of Anbar attacked police officers that were guarding the highway that links the country to Jordan.

One report said that an attacker was also killed in the clash. The attack follows a similar onslought on a government compound, which killed seven people in the provincial capital of Ramadi.

The security situation in Iraq seems more precarious than ever. Violence has been on a rise, with security and Shi'a religious congregations being the key targets. There has also been a marked downturn in the country's political progress since the withdrawal of US troops at the end of last year.

Most recently, an arrest warrant was issued for Vice President Tariq Hashemi on terrorism charges. He fled to the Kurdish-controlled region of northern Iraq, and has denied the accusations against him.

The warrant has, however, sparked a political crisis as the biggest bloc in parliament accused Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki of using the law to monopolise power.

Sources: AFP, Reuters, BBC News

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

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