Insurgents kill at least 17 people in Iraq
Gun and mortar attacks killed at least 17 Iraqis on Tuesday, including women and children, as insurgent attacks homed in on the war-torn capital, security officials said.
Two mortar rounds slammed into the capital's Abu Chir neighbourhood, part of the southern militant stronghold of Dura where Iraqi and US forces have been concentrated under a massive new security crackdown, officials said.
Two children, a man and a woman were killed from separate families, while another 14 people, again women and children included, were ferried to hospital with injuries from the attack, the sources said.
A roadside bomb attack killed an Iraqi policeman in southeast Baghdad, while another police officer was killed in a gun attack in the heart of the capital.
A local soldier was killed by an insurgent sniper in central Baghdad and four civilians were hospitalised following a mortar attack near the finance ministry, also in the heart of the capital, a security official said.
South of Baghdad, another four people perished in Iskandiriyah when unidentified gunmen opened fire on a Sunni Muslim funeral cortege, said Iraqi army officer Mohammed al-Tahi.
Iskandiriyah, a majority Sunni Arab town, has been rocked by a series of attacks in recent days. The US military announced that five Iraqi civilians were killed and another 11 wounded by mortar attacks in the town on Monday.
Iraqi and American troops also battled insurgents firing guns and a rocket-propelled grenade from a nearby Al-Wasafa mosque on Monday, in a fight that pockmarked the mosque walls with bullet holes and killed one insurgent.
In northern Iraq, two policemen and two civilians were killed in a string of shooting attacks in Mosul, said Major Mohammed Ahmed.
Meanwhile, two elderly Armenian women who had lived in Kirkuk for years were shot dead when gunmen broke into their house early Tuesday in the restive northern oil capital, said police Captain Imad Jassim.
One of the women was aged 80 and the other in her 60s, the officer said.
Mass emigration has seen Iraq's Christian community slump to around 700,000, out of a total population of 27 million.