Baghdad: Three members of a police officer`s
family were killed while 12 Iranian pilgrims and two policemen
were wounded in a spate of bomb attacks across Iraq on Tuesday,
an Interior Ministry official said.
The father, brother and sister of Lieutenant Colonel Qais
Rashid, brigade commander of a rapid-response force in the
central city of Tikrit, were killed by a bomb that exploded in
the home of the officer`s father, the official said.
He said two other family members were wounded.
Two policemen meanwhile were wounded by a bomb blast at a
checkpoint in the city of Samarra north of Baghdad.
In Baghdad, magnetic "sticky" bombs, which attach to
vehicles and have increasingly become a weapon of choice for
insurgents, targeted two buses carrying Iranian pilgrims, the
Eight Iranians in one bus and four in another were
wounded in the early morning attacks in different parts of the
The attacks against Iranian pilgrims came a day after
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki paid a short visit to Tehran,
where he sought to drum up support for a second term in
Authorities upped security measures in response, and
armed police were seen stopping and checking every busload of
Iranian pilgrims at the capital`s many, congested checkpoints.
Every day about 1,500 pilgrims from neighbouring Iran
visit Shiite shrines in Iraq, mainly in the holy cities of
Najaf and Karbala.
Violence in Iraq has plunged dramatically since its peak
in 2006-2007 but casualties from insurgent and military action
still remain part of daily life.
Political and sectarian tensions between Iraq`s majority
Shiite population and large minority Sunni numbers have been
running high since the 2003 US-led invasion.
Maliki, a Shiite, met in Tehran with supreme leader
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,
before holding talks with Iraq`s radical Shiite leader Moqtada
al-Sadr in the holy city of Qom, reports said.