Monday, September 17, 2007


Islamic State of Iraq steps up attacks

(Gulf News) - At least 30 people were killed as militants stepped up bombings and shootings across Iraq on Sunday. This followed a threat by Al Qaida to launch a new phase of violence. Suspected Al Qaida militants shot dead 14 people in the predominantly Sunni Arab town of Muqdadiya north of Baghdad and torched at least 12 shops in the town, Iraqi police said.
A suicide bomber on a booby-trapped bicycle killed six people at an outdoor cafe in the northern town of Tuz Khurmato. In Baghdad, eight people were killed in four separate bombings. In the raids on the villages of Jichan and Ghizlayat, the fighters arrived from several different directions and residents fought back until Iraqi security forces arrived and chased the attackers, who fled to nearby farms. The clashes about 60 miles north of Baghdad lasted about two hours, officials and witnesses said.
An Al Qaida-led group, the Islamic State in Iraq, had said on Saturday it was launching a fresh round of attacks to mark the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which started late last week. Meanwhile, the US military said it had caught a suspected Al Qaida militant believed to be behind the killing last week of a key Sunni Arab tribal leader in Anbar province.
Shaikh Abdul Sattar Abu Risha, who met US President George W. Bush two weeks ago in Anbar, was killed in a bomb attack on Thursday near his home. He led an alliance of tribes that helped US troops push Al Qaida out of much of the vast western area.

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