First Published: 2010-08-26


Six Iraqi fighters killed in Qaeda attack


Sahwa fighters killed in Shrwain village northeast of Baghdad in latest of revenge attack.


Middle East Online

Attacks on all fronts

BAQUBA, Iraq - Six members of a Sunni Arab militia that sided with US forces against Al-Qaeda during Iraq's insurgency were killed on Thursday, in the latest revenge attack against them, police said.

The Sahwa (Awakening) fighters, also known as the "Sons of Iraq," were killed in Shrwain, a village 90 kilometres (56 miles) northeast of Baghdad, around 4:00 am (0100 GMT), said police Captain Firas al-Dulaimi.

"Several members of Al-Qaeda attacked a Sahwa office when nine people were inside," Dulaimi told AFP. "Six Sahwa were killed, two were wounded and one was unhurt," he said.

Shrwain, in restive Diyala province, was a known Al-Qaeda stronghold at the height of the insurgency.

The Sahwa, financed by the US military, helped avert a civil war and were crucial in curbing Iraq's sectarian violence when it peaked in 2006 and 2007. Dozens have been killed in recent months in acts of retaliation.

The force has 8,000 members in Diyala, most of whom are based in the provincial capital Baquba.

When full control of the Sahwa passed from the US to Iraq's government in April 2009 Baghdad promised to integrate 20 percent of the men into the police or army and find civil service jobs for many others.

However, across the country, 52,000 of the fighters are still waiting for new employment.


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