Middle East News
Baby among 22 dead as Iraq violence flares (2nd Roundup)
Jun 25, 2008, 19:38 GMT
Baghdad - Twenty-two people were dead and hundreds more injured by late Wednesday in five separate incidents over the past 24 hours in Iraq, officials reported.
In the latest incident, three people including a baby were killed while 12 others were injured when a bus exploded in the Shiite- dominated city of Karbala, 100 kilometres south of the Iraqi capital.
Eyewitnesses told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that an explosive device was inside the small bus.
In Baquba, 60 km north of Baghdad, an Iraqi soldier was killed and three others wounded when an empty house they were searching exploded.
Violence in Baquba, the capital of restive Diyala province, has continued unabated despite an ongoing offensive jointly mounted by US and Iraqi troops.
Three US soldiers and an interpreter were killed in 'an improvised explosive device attack' in the province on Tuesday evening, the US military said.
The attack brings the number of US soldiers killed in Iraq this week to seven. At least 25 US soldiers have been killed so far in June.
The killing of the three soldiers came shortly after two other soldiers, two US government employees and six Iraqis were killed in a bomb blast at a council meeting in Baghdad's Sadr City district, the bastion of the Shiite Mahdi Army militia.
In Mosul, the capital of Nineveh, 90 civilians were injured in the car bomb attack which were blamed on the al-Qaeda in Iraq group.
In another incident, five people from the same family were killed on Wednesday in a US airstrike on their home in a town near Tikrit, 170 km north of Baghdad, witnesses told dpa.
The US airstrike killed an Iraqi man, his wife and three children, all of whom were aged under 12, the witnesses said. Two people in a nearby house were also injured.
Meanwhile, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki gave Shiite militants in the southern Maysan province a week to surrender.
The deadline for armed groups to surrender starts from Wednesday, the spokesman for the Iraqi Ministry of Defence, Mohamed al-Askari said.
Iraqi troops launched a crackdown nearly a week ago in Amarah, the capital of Maysan, targeting Shiite militants loyal to radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
The operation is the fourth of its kind this year in which al-Maliki sent troops to provinces to clear them of Shiite or Sunni insurgents.
Basra, Sadr City and Mosul have been the sites of major security offensives.