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Attacks kill 15 in Iraq

by SAMEER N. YACOUB Associated Press on March 23, 2014 1:00 AM

BAGHDAD — A series of attacks in Iraq killed 15 members of the security forces and civilians in areas north of Baghdad on Saturday, officials said.

Separately, a Kurdish officer in the Iraqi president’s guard is alleged to have shot dead the head of a local radio station during a quarrel near the leader’s east Baghdad residence, police said.

The police said Mohammed Bedwei was shot at a checkpoint by a lieutenant in the mostly Kurdish security detail for Jalal Talabani, an ethnic Kurd.

The accused killer was handed over to Iraqi security forces that have besieged the residency compound, police and state TV said.

Talabani suffered a stroke last year and is being treated in Germany. Few details have been released about his health.

Many in Baghdad resent the presence of ethnically Kurdish security forces, dubbed the peshmerga, who guard Kurdish VIPs in Baghdad.

State-run TV showed Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki arriving at the crime scene near the presidential palace. “All the people behind this should stand trial. Blood for blood and this is a violation of the law,” he said

Meanwhile a series of blasts struck across the country. Police officials said the wave began with a roadside bomb in a commercial street in the northern city of Tikrit. Minutes later, a car bomb struck policemen who had arrived to inspect the site of the first blast.

The officials said five policemen and two civilians were killed and 18 people were wounded in the bombings. Hours later, police said a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into a security checkpoint near the town of Adeim about 60 miles north of Baghdad. Three civilians and three police were killed.

Also, a roadside bomb hit a military checkpoint near the northern city of Mosul, killing two soldiers and wounding three others, according to the police.

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