A series of attacks in Iraq have killed 15 people. Included in those who lost their lives was a senior commander in the military, a colonel and five soldiers. The seven died when they raided a hideout of al-Qaeda said officials.
Officials from the Iraqi police said that Mohammed al-Karawi a Major General and the other six in the military died Saturday went the hideout they stormed had been booby-trapped in Rutba, located in the Anbar province and a volatile Sunni area.
Al-Karawi commanded the 7th division of Iraqi’s army and was the head of a search operation that was hunting down fighters from al-Qaeda. Besides the seven killed, another four soldiers were wounded.
In addition, in the western region of Iraq, gunmen opened fire from a spending car at a checkpoint in Fallujah on Saturday. Four policemen were killing in the shooting.
In northern Iraq, close to Kirkuk, an important city in the north, an officer in the army and one soldier lost their lives when two mortars struck a military post, said officials.
In Latifiyah, about 18 miles from Baghdad, a mortar hit Shi’ite pilgrims on their way to Karbala holy sites.
The pilgrims had been commemorating Arbaeen, which is the end of mourning for 40 days following the anniversary of Imam Hussein’s death who was the grandson of Prophet Mohammed and a revered figure by the Shi’ite.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims who are Shi’ite head to Karbala for the Arbaeen. The Shi’ites are frequently targeted by Sunni insurgents and by fighters from al-Qaeda.
Security forces in Iraq also poorly protect the pilgrimages and marches of the Shi’ite to the holy sites. No one claimed responsibility in any of the different attacks across Iraq.
The casualty figures had been confirmed by medical officials, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity due to not being authorized to speak to members of the media.
Since April after a deadly crackdown in a protest camp occupied by Sunni, violence has spiked across Iraq. In December alone, 367 people have been killed in the country.