First Published: 2004-01-07

 
Policeman killed in Kirkuk
 

Gunmen ambush checkpoint west of Kirkuk, killing policeman, civilian as US troops arrest more than 80.

 

Middle East Online

Further violence in war-torn Iraq

KIRKUK, Iraq - Assailants raked a checkpoint with bullets, killing a policeman and a civilian west of the northern city of Kirkuk on Wednesday, amid further violence in war-torn Iraq.

US troops arrested more than 80 people in hotbeds of anti-US resistance, where a shadowy and loose alliance of former Baath party loyalists, Islamic militants, foreign fighters and criminals have caused mayhem in the post-Saddam Hussein era.

In the latest attack on Iraqi police, a checkpoint was ambushed on the road between the northern oil refinery of Baiji and the town of Hawijah, 80 kilometres (50 miles) northeast of Kirkuk.

"Unknown gunmen sprayed automatic weapon fire at a police checkpoint ... killing a policeman and one civilian," said police officer Ahmad Hassan Ali.

The civilian's car was stopped at the checkpoint when the gunfire erupted at 7:10 am (0410 GMT), the officer said.

The attackers immediately fled.

A policeman was also killed on his way to work near the northeastern city of Baquba on Tuesday.

Since a wave of suicide car bombings kicked off in August, Iraqi security forces have established checkpoints on the highways to search for suspect individuals.

Meanwhile, US forces raided suspected resistance strongholds in jailed leader Saddam's home region north of Baghdad.

The 4th Infantry Division-led Taskforce Ironhorse, which patrols the provinces of Tamim, Salahuddin and Diyala, seized 53 people from Monday to Tuesday, the military said.

In the flashpoint province of Al-Anbar, the 82nd Airborne and 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment detained "27 enemy personnel" over a 24-hour period ending Tuesday, the military said.

Three insurgents were captured after a firefight in Khalidiyah, a town on the outskirts of Fallujah, 55 kilometres (nearly 35 miles) west of Baghdad.

US soldiers returned fire from a three-storey house before capturing the three guerrillas, the statement said.

Meanwhile The US-led coalition will release 100 people from Iraqi prisons on Thursday, with hundreds more to be freed in coming weeks, the top US official in Iraq Paul Bremer was to announce in a policy address later Wednesday.

Bremer, with current interim Governing Council president Adnan Pachachi at his side, was also to unveil a 200,000-dollar reward program for the capture of more wanted individuals, according to an advance copy of his speech.

The release programme is aimed at bringing a new bounty of intelligence from those Iraqis being freed under the new policy, a coalition spokesman said.

"We're hoping these people will take this opportunity to help the new Iraq by giving information on those who are going out killing and hurting people," the spokesman said.

"Tomorrow, the coalition will release at least 100 persons now detained by the coalition," according to Bremer's address. "Hundreds more detainees will be freed in this way in the coming weeks."

Those released will be set free on the understanding they "must renounce violence" and have "a guarantor, such as a prominent person in his community or a religious or tribal leader, who will accept responsibility for the good conduct of the individual who is being set free."

Bremer's statement describes those being let out as not directly linked to violence against US forces.

"Let me reassure you that this is not a program for those with blood-stained hands. No person directly involved in the death or serious bodily harm to any human being will be released," the statement reads.

At least 10,000 people are currently detained by the coalition, of whom nearly 4,000 belong to the Iranian armed opposition group, the People's Mujahedeen.

 

Mecca suicide bombing injures six

Suicide attacks kill at least three people in Mosul

Russia warships, submarine strike IS targets in Syria

Gulf crisis heats up as Qatar receives list of demands

Prime time for Ramadan on Gulf fashion calendar

Sudan making 'positive' steps on meeting US sanctions terms

Civilians killed in Iraq suicide bomb attacks

UN warns Yemen cholera outbreak could infect 300,000 by September

Putin launches deep-water phase of TurkStream pipeline

Berlin warns Ankara against meddling in religious affairs

Asian states downplay 'Russia proposal' to send troops to Syria

Iran’s Salehi urges West to save historic nuclear deal

Iran, allies mark Jerusalem Day with rallies

US-led Syria strikes kill 472 civilians in one month

Morocco dismantles 'IS-linked cell plotting tourist attacks'

France sets out tough new anti-terror law

Trump-Saudi ties help pave way for new Saudi crown prince

Makeshift clinic saves lives near Syria’s Raqa

Egyptian fuel helps restart Gaza power station

Rights groups say Morocco protest leader 'severely beaten' during arrest

5 killed in Mogadishu car bomb attack

UN experts urge Egypt to halt executions after 'flawed trials'

Qatar emir congratulates newly-appointed Saudi crown prince

Kushner hails 'productive' Palestine-Israel talks

Macron says removing Assad no longer priority in Syria

Turkey sends first aid ship to isolated ally Qatar

Iraq PM says IS admitting defeat in Mosul

Egypt delivers fuel to ease Gaza electricity shortage

Saudi Arabia named after ruling dynasty

Turkey detains catering boss after army food poisoning

Israel says will unleash 'unimaginable power' in future Lebanon war

Brussels nail bomber identified as Moroccan

Saudi stock market bullish on new heir

Lebanon's Salame to be new UN Libya envoy

New Saudi heir is king's agent of change

Turkish President accused of influencing courts

Mohammed bin Salman named Saudi crown prince

Algeria leader drops Panama Papers libel suit vs Le Monde

Morocco detains three as Rif protests continue

Israel starts work on new settlements amid Trump 'peace' push

At least 10 dead in Mogadishu suicide attack

Iraq forces advance in Mosul Old City

Yemen cholera death toll passes 1,100

Iran-made drone shot down by US plane in Syria

Raqa’s own battle to liberate hometown from IS rule