BAGHDAD, (Xinhua): At least 22 people were killed and 97 others wounded in separate attacks across Iraq on Thursday, including a deadly bombing attack at a cafe in the eastern city of Baquba, police said.
Four people were killed and eight others wounded when a bomb exploded in a cafe in Kanan area near Baquba, 60 km northeast of Baghdad, a police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
In the capital Baghdad, two people were killed and 10 others wounded when a car bomb exploded in a popular market in the southwestern district of Amil, the police source said.
Four people were killed and 12 others injured when a roadside bomb went off inside a popular cafe in Baghdad’s eastern district of Sadr City, the source said, adding that a car bomb exploded near a garage in Nahda area of eastern Baghdad, leaving two people killed and 13 others wounded.
Earlier in the day, police said ten people were killed and 54 others wounded in violent attacks, including car bombings, in central Iraq.
In central province of Babil, two car bombs exploded in two areas in the provincial capital city of Hilla, some 100 km south of Baghdad, leaving two people killed and 12 others wounded, a provincial police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, a car bomb ripped through the town of Iskandriyah, some 50 km south of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, wounding eight people, the source said.
Near Baghdad, two soldiers were killed and two others wounded when a roadside bomb went off near their checkpoint in Tarmiyah area, some 40 km north of Baghdad, a local police source said.
In a separate incident, an explosives-laden car parked near a popular market detonated in the town of Meshahda, some 30 km north of Baghdad, leaving a civilian dead and 15 others wounded, the source said.
Elsewhere, a member of a government-backed Sahwa paramilitary group was killed and four wounded when gunmen attacked their checkpoint in the city of Baiji, some 200 km north of Baghdad, a local police source said.
The Sahwa militia, also known as the Awakening Council or the Sons of Iraq, consists of armed groups, including some powerful anti-U.S. Sunni insurgent groups, who turned their rifles against the al-Qaida network after the latter adopted hardline Islam and exercised indiscriminate killings against both Shiite and Sunni Muslim communities.
In Iraq’s western province of Anbar, two soldiers were killed by sniper fire while they were manning an army checkpoint in the town of Garma, a provincial police source anonymously told Xinhua.
Also in the province, a police officer was killed by sniper shot in the town of Khaldiyah, some 80 km west of Baghdad, while four mortar rounds landed on a police station in the town and wounded a policeman, the source said.
Separately, a source from Fallujah hospital told Xinhua that mortar barrage on the city during the day left a civilian killed and 12 wounded, while damaging many houses and shops.
Anbar province has been the scene of fierce clashes that flared up after Iraqi police dismantled an anti-government protest site outside Ramadi in late December last year.
Iraq is witnessing its worst violence in recent years. According to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, a total of 8,868 Iraqis, including 7,818 civilians and police personnel, were killed in 2013, the highest annual death toll in years.