Militants unleashed a series of attacks Wednesday in and around Baghdad, killing at least 18 people, officials said.
South of the Iraqi capital, a provincial council approved a decision allowing authorities to demolish homes of convicted militants and banish their families from the province.
The deadliest attack killed three policemen and three civilians when a suicide bomber on foot blew up his explosives-laden vest at a police checkpoint in Baghdad’s Shiite neighborhood of Shula, a police officer said. At least 15 people were wounded in the explosion, he added.
In the town of Youssifiyah, 12 miles south of Baghdad, a bomb explosion in a commercial area killed at least three shoppers and wounded nine others, another police officer said.
Elsewhere three intelligence officers affiliated to the Interior Ministry were gunned down by drive-by shooters armed with pistols fitted with silencers in the northeastern suburb of Rashidiya, police added.
Another bomb explosion in a commercial area in the capital’s southwestern Saydiya neighborhood killed two civilians and wounded five others.
Also on Thursday, a mortar attack on a camp for displaced civilians south of Baghdad killed four and wounded eight, according to Iraqi officials.
The United Nations issued a statement on the attack, the third such attack on the camp in the past three months, calling it “cowardly.” The UN statement said four children were injured and no one was killed. The discrepancy could not be immediately reconciled.
“Displaced Iraqis who arrived here had already fled conflict and violence. They regarded the camp as a place of safety, where they and their families could feel protected,” said Bruno Geddo, the Iraq representative for the UN refugee agency.
Medical officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorised to talk to the media.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, most of which bore the hallmarks of the Islamic State group. The Sunni militant group has claimed previous such attacks against security forces and public places, mainly in Shiite-dominated areas.
Meanwhile, the decision by the Babil Provincial Council reflects attempts by local authorities to try independently of the central government in Baghdad to rein in militant attacks in municipalities and provinces across the country battered by years of war.