People gather at the scene of a car bomb attack that killed and wounded dozens of people in the Sadr City neighborhood in Baghdad on Thursday.
Gunmen killed an anti-terrorism policeman and his family in Baghdad on Saturday; kidnappers abducted eight policemen on a highway to Jordan and Syria; and attackers shot dead a Sunni cleric in the country’s Shiite-majority south.
The incidents come on the heels of three days of bombings and violence that killed people in a market, a mosque and bus stops in both Sunni and Shiite neighborhoods. The attacks are reminiscent of conflicts between the two groups in Iraq’s near-civil war of 2006 and 2007.
Saturday’s deadliest attack occurred when gunmen broke into the house of an anti-terrorism police officer in the southern suburbs of Baghdad, killing five people including the officer and his sleeping family. Police officials said the attackers stormed the house in the al-Rasheed district early on Saturday and shot dead Captain Adnan Ibrahim, his wife and two children, aged eight and 10. As they were leaving the area, the attackers killed another policeman who tried to stop them at a checkpoint.
In the western Sunni province of Anbar, gunmen kidnapped eight policemen who were guarding a post on the main highway linking Iraq to both Jordan and Syria, said two police officials. The abductions happened Saturday on the desert road west of Baghdad, they added. Earlier in the day, security forces and gunmen clashed in the area when police tried to arrest a Sunni tribal sheik suspected of being behind the killing of three army intelligence soldiers stopped by gunmen near a protest site in Ramadi last month. Iraqi authorities had offered a bounty for the arrest or information leading to the arrest of Khamis Abu Risha and two other people they say were linked to the killings.