BAGHDAD, (Xinhua): At least 31 people, including a candidate for the upcoming parliamentary elections, were killed and 49 others wounded in separate violent attacks across Iraq on Saturday, police said.
In Sharqat, 280 km north of Baghdad, unidentified gunmen attacked a car carrying Mohammed Hussein Hamid al-Gawamid, a parliamentary candidate on the list of Iraqiya al-Arabiya bloc led by deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq, a police source said, adding that Al-Gawamid was killed and two police officers were wounded in the attack.
Al-Gawamid is the second candidate killed for the April 30 parliamentary elections so far. Hamza Al Shamry, another candidate, was assassinated by gunmen with silenced weapons in western Baghdad on Feb. 7.
Two people were killed and nine others injured when a car bomb went off near a market in Baghdad’s northern neighborhood of Cairo, the police source said.
Earlier in the day, a total of 28 people were killed and 38 others wounded in different attacks, mainly targeting security forces, across the country, according to the police.
The deadliest attacks occurred in the western province of Anbar, leaving a total of 18 security members dead and 25 others wounded, including three gunmen.
In one of the attacks, a booby-trapped car was detonated near an Iraqi army force south of the provincial capital city Ramadi, some 110 km west of Baghdad. Nine soldiers were killed and ten others wounded.
In a separate incident, a suicide bomber drove his explosive- laden car into a joint army and police checkpoint and blew it up in north Ramadi, killing four policemen and wounding four others.
Also in the battlefield city of Ramadi, two police commandos were killed and four others wounded in a roadside bomb explosion near their patrol in the city’s northern suburb of Albu-Dhiyab.
Separately, gunmen attacked an army checkpoint in Haswa area, just east of the militant-seized city of Fallujah, some 50 km west of Baghdad. They killed three soldiers, including an officer, and wounded four others. Three gunmen were also wounded in the clash.
Earlier in the day, a commander of an army brigade and two of his bodyguards were killed and six others wounded when two roadside bombs struck their convoy. They were conducting an operation against al-Qaida militants at Wadi Argoub area, some 35 km north of Diyala’s provincial capital city of Baquba.
In Salahudin province, a policeman was killed and three others wounded when gunmen attacked their checkpoint in the city of Samarra, some 120 km north of Baghdad. Two gunmen as well as two children were also killed in the shootout.
Elsewhere, two children were killed when a roadside bomb was detonated near the car of a member of a government-backed Sahwa paramilitary group in the city of Shirqat, some 280 km north of Baghdad. The blast also wounded the Sahwa member.
Also in the province, gunmen blew up bombs in 14 houses belonging to policemen in different parts of Salahudin’s provincial capital city of Tikrit, some 170 km north of Baghdad, causing damage to the houses and leaving three people wounded.
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.