Baghdad: Twin car bombings in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul and an attack by eight gunmen on the home of a school teacher in the center of the country left at least 10 people dead, government officials said on Saturday.
Violence is raking Iraq as the Shiite-led government and other political factions are debating a request for some American forces to remain in the country beyond the Dec. 31 deadline for all US troops to withdraw after more than eight years.
While violence is well below what it had been during intense Shiite-Sunni sectarian fighting in 2006 and 2007, militants are again stepping up deadly attacks around the country. That has led to concerns about what happens when the 47,000 US troops still in the country are withdrawn.
Police and hospital officials in Mosul said two car bombs exploded in quick succession, killing six people. At least one of the bombs seemed aimed at a police patrol. Mosul is Iraq`s third largest city, 225 miles (360 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad. It has been one of the most stubborn insurgent strongholds.
Abdul-Rahim al-Shimmari, a member of the provincial council said two policemen were killed and 52 people were wounded.
In the other attack, eight gunmen stormed the house of a school teacher overnight and killed his three sons and daughter, said Mohammed al-Asi, the spokesman for central Salahuddin province.
He said the gunmen were in a minibus and fled after the midnight attack in a village outside of Tikrit. Authorities were investigating the motive behind the killing to see whether it was an act of insurgents or tribal conflict, he added.
Tikrit is Saddam Hussein`s hometown and is located 80 miles (130 kilometers) north of Baghdad.