Iraq: Gunmen kill 5 in attack on police

AP News
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Posted: Apr 12, 2012 12:17 PM
Iraq: Gunmen kill 5 in attack on police

Gunmen traveling in cars without license plates opened fire on a police patrol in Iraq on Thursday, killing two officers and three others.

The attack south of Kirkuk also wounded five people, including three policemen, said Brig. Gen. Sarhat Qadir, a senior Kirkuk police official. A hospital official confirmed the casualties.

Kirkuk, which is 180 miles (290 kilometers) north of Baghdad, is the main oil hub in northern Iraq. It's been the scene of sporadic insurgent violence and ongoing tensions between the region's three main groups _ Kurds, Arabs and Turkomen.

The shooting followed a bombing late Wednesday that killed the Shiite mayor of the town of Mafraq near Baqouba, a former al-Qaida stronghold about 35 miles (60 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad. Police said the blast also killed the man's wife, two sons and daughter.

A medic at Baqouba hospital confirmed the death toll.

Authorities said that leaflets were distributed earlier this week in Baqouba telling Shiites to leave the city or face death.

The Baqouba officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to brief the media.

Sunni insurgents launch frequent attacks on Shiites and security forces loyal to the Shiite-led government in an attempt to revive sectarian fighting in the country.