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28 killed in Iraq bloodshed after deadly month

AFP | Last Updated: Monday, December 2, 2013 - 09:45

Baghdad: Attacks in Iraq including a suicide bomb at a funeral killed 28 people today as figures showed nearly 950 died last month in spiralling violence despite ramped up security measures.

Iraq`s worst protracted period of unrest since it emerged from gruesome Sunni-Shiite violence in 2006-2007 has sparked fears of a return to the sectarian bloodletting that killed tens of thousands of people.

Officials have adopted an array of measures aimed at halting the attacks -- focusing their efforts on resurgent Al-Qaeda front groups emboldened by the war in neighbouring Syria -- but their efforts have thus far failed to curb the daily violence.

Today a suicide bomber blew himself up at the funeral of an anti-Qaeda fighter killed a day earlier near the restive confessionally mixed city of Baquba.

The blast at the graveyard in nearby Wajihiyah village killed 12 people and left another 45 wounded, police and a doctor said.

Mudher al-Shallal al-Araki, the 27-year-old who was being buried, had been a fighter in the Sahwa, the Sunni tribal militias that from late 2006 sided with US forces against their co-religionists in Al-Qaeda, helping to turn the tide of Iraq`s insurgency.

Sunni militants regard the Sahwa as traitors and often target them.

Araki`s father was a leader in the Sahwa and a sheikh of the Arakiya tribe.
Twin bombings in Saadiyah, which like Wajihiyah lies in Diyala province, killed five more people while violence in Baghdad and the Sunni towns and cities of Fallujah, Abu Ghraib, Mosul and Hawijah left 11 others dead, officials said.

The bloodshed was the latest in a months-long spike in violence that has killed more than 6,100 people, according to an AFP tally based on security and medical reports.

New data from the health, interior and defence ministries showed that 948 people were killed in violence last month -- 852 civilians, 53 policemen and 43 soldiers.
The overall monthly toll was marginally down from October`s multi-year high of 964, but November was still among Iraq`s bloodiest months since 2008, when it was slowly emerging from the brutal sectarian unrest.

First Published: Monday, December 2, 2013 - 09:45

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