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Iraq attack kills militia leader and family

At least eight people were killed and 22 wounded in separate attacks on police and a pro-US militia leader in Iraq today, police said.

world Updated: Mar 04, 2009 21:05 IST

At least eight people were killed and 22 wounded in separate attacks on police and a pro-US militia leader in Iraq on Wednesday, police said.

Local Sahwa militia leader Dhiab al-Ali, his wife, son, and grandson were killed when a roadside bomb hit their car near Balad, 75 kilometres north of Baghdad, said the police.

Sahwa (Awakening) Councils are a decentralised network of Sunni Arab militias recruited by the US military from insurgent groups and tribesmen.

Many of them battled US and Iraqi forces after the 2003 American-led invasion toppled Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, before they joined forces with the US military in 2006 to fight Al-Qaeda linked jihadists. Balad is a former Al-Qaeda stronghold.

In central Baghdad, a suicide bomber killed two policemen and wounded 12 more people, defence and interior ministry officials said.

The bomber set off an explosive belt in the middle of a patrol in the Karrada district, the sources said, adding that seven of the casualties were police.

In Mosul, 370 kilometres north of the capital, a suicide car bomb targeted a police roadblock, killing two police officials and wounding 10, including eight policemen, a security officer said.