Baghdad: Suspected al-Qaida militants killed
five Iraqi soldiers in a brazen dawn attack on Tuesday at a western
Baghdad checkpoint and planted the terror group`s black banner
before fleeing the scene, officials said.
It was the second time in a week that al-Qaida`s flag has
appeared at the scene of an attack. On Thursday, in Baghdad`s
Sunni Azamiyah district, a former al-Qaida stronghold,
suspected al-Qaida militants stormed a checkpoint, killed 16
members of the security forces and briefly planted their
banner nearby before fleeing.
Such attacks raise concerns that insurgents are
successfully taking advantage of the enduring political vacuum
nearly five months after Iraq`s parliamentary elections failed
to produce a clear winner.
Politicians are still bickering over the formation of a
new government, with the main hurdle being who should become
the next prime minister.
Today`s attackers arrived in three cars and used pistols
fitted with silencers in the assault in the mainly Sunni
Mansour district, police and hospital officials said. The
assailants, according to the officials, then planted the
al-Qaida banner on a pole next to the checkpoint.
An Interior Ministry official familiar with the incident
said five gunmen first shot dead two soldiers who were on
duty, then moved to a nearby spot where three soldiers were
sleeping and shot them dead at close range.