Naharnet

Bombers Kill Colonel Commanding Anti-Qaida Operation in Mosul

Two suicide bombers killed a police lieutenant colonel Wednesday when they blew themselves up inside a police station in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, police said.

"Two suicide bombers attacked the police station in the Qabr al-Binat area in (western) Mosul about 7:00 am (0400 GMT). They targeted and killed Lieutenant Colonel Shamil Ahmed Oglaq," police said.

A third bomber was killed before he could blow himself up, he added.

A police officer said Oglaq was likely targeted because he commanded an operation against al-Qaida members in western Mosul last week, in which a leader of the Islamic State of Iraq, al-Qaida's Iraqi affiliate, was killed.

The attack comes two days after twin bombings in the western Iraqi city of Ramadi killed nine people, including four policemen, and wounded 49, among them five women and four children.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who was approved by parliament for a second term in office along with a national unity cabinet on December 21, has cited security as one of his top three priorities.

But 10 ministries, including those responsible for security, which are controlled by Maliki in the interim, still only have acting heads.

While violence has dropped dramatically across Iraq since its peak in 2006 and 2007, attacks remain common, especially in the capital and the main northern city of Mosul.

The number of people killed last month was the lowest in a year for the second month running, with 171 people -- 105 civilians, 23 soldiers and 43 policemen -- losing their lives in attacks.

Source: Agence France Presse


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