A series of attacks in Iraq yesterday targeting the homes of police officers and a member of a government-allied Sunni militia killed four people, including two children, officials said.
Police said a total of six explosions were caused by roadside bombs planted near houses belonging to security officers in Baqouba as their families were sleeping. Two children died in the blasts and nine people were wounded.
The city, 35 miles (60 kilometers) northeast of Baghdad, is a former stronghold of al-Qaeda militants. Meanwhile, police said gunmen stormed the house of a leader in the anti al-Qaeda militia, killing him and his wife in the predominantly Sunni suburb of Abu Ghraib, west of the capital. The man had been active in the Sahwa, or Sons of Iraq, a Sunni militia that was instrumental in turning the tide against al-Qaeda in the country.
Medical officials in Baqouba and Abu Gharaib hospitals confirmed the casualty toll. All the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media. Iraqi officials have warned of a resurgence of Sunni and Shiite militants and an increase in violence following the United States troop withdrawal, which ended last month.
The latest violence comes amid a growing political crisis that erupted after Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government issued an arrest warrant for the country’s top Sunni politician last month. Al-Maliki’s main political rivals, the Sunni-backed Iraqi bloc, is boycotting parliament sessions and cabinet meetings in protest of what they say are efforts by the Shiite-led government to consolidate power and marginalize them.