Series of blasts in Iraq kill at least 25
A series of attacks targeting both Iraqi security forces and civilians killed at least 25 people on Monday, officials and medics said, a day before the first anniversary of the departure of U.S. forces.
The violence comes after a string of attacks killed 19 people and wounded 77 on Sunday. Monday was the deadliest day in Iraq since November 29, when 50 people were killed.
Gunmen attacked a police checkpoint on the highway west of Tikrit, killing one policeman and wounding three, a police lieutenant colonel said.
A police patrol chased the gunmen, who abandoned their car and then detonated explosives in it, killing four more police and wounding two, the officer said. A doctor confirmed the toll.
In the village of al-Buslaibi, north of Baghdad, a roadside bomb targeting an army patrol killed three soldiers, the army and police said.
And gunmen attacked an army checkpoint in the north Iraqi city of Mosul, killing one soldier.
A car bomb in Khaznah, a village near Mosul populated by the small Shabak minority, killed seven people and wounded 12, while two car bombs near a Shiite place of worship killed five and wounded 26 in the northern flashpoint town of Tuz Khurmatu, security and medical sources said.
Three roadside bombs exploded near Baquba, north of Baghdad, killing one person and wounding four others, police and medics said.
The town of Rutba in Anbar province was hit by a salvo of 10 mortar rounds that killed two and wounded nine, officials said, and a car bomb near Dujail north of Baghdad killed one Iraqi and wounded at least 10 Iranian pilgrims.
U.S military forces completed their withdrawal from Iraq on December 18 last year, ending a nearly nine-ye.ar war that cost the lives of tens of thousands of Iraqis, thousands of Americans, and hundreds of billions of dollars.
While violence in Iraq has decreased significantly from its peak in 2006 and 2007, attacks still occur almost every day.