Ten dead in militant attack in Iraq`s Ramadi

Ramadi witnessed some of the worst violence during the height of the war that followed the 2003 US-led invasion.

Updated: Jan 16, 2012, 00:25 AM IST

Ramadi (Iraq): A wave of attacks and a
three-hour siege of a police compound in west Iraq left ten
policemen dead on Sunday, raising concerns about the security
forces` capabilities a month after US troops left.

The coordinated blasts and shootings come with the
country mired in a festering political row, and deal a blow to
US and Iraqi officials` assertion that local forces are able
to maintain internal security.

The violence today in mostly Sunni Ramadi came a day
after a suicide attacker targeting Shiites killed 53 people on
the outskirts of the southern city of Basra, the latest in a
series of attacks that have killed nearly 200 in less than a
month.

In Ramadi, two initial car bombs exploded at around 11:30
am (0830 GMT) near Dawlah Kabir Mosque in the centre of the
city, before a third car bomb went off in the same area, two
police officers said on condition of anonymity.

A short time later, a fourth car bomb detonated near a
police compound in Ramadi, followed quickly thereafter by two
suicide bombers blowing themselves up inside.

Six gunmen stormed the compound, which houses the
investigations and intelligence directorate and a building
under construction that will be the new office of the mayor of
Ramadi, and were holed up in the latter facility until around
3:00 pm (1200 GMT), according to police and medical officials.

"The six terrorists were killed inside the building where
they were hiding, and the situation is now under the control
of the police," said Anbar police chief Major General Hadi
Arzaij.

The attacks on the police compound left seven policemen
dead and 16 wounded, while the initial three car bombs in
central Ramadi wounded three civilians, according to a medic
at Ramadi General Hospital.

Separate bombings in the refinery town of Baiji and the
oil-rich city of Kirkuk, both north of Baghdad, left 13 people
wounded, including three police.

PTI