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Iraqi judges targets of bombing attacks

  • Story Highlights
  • Three judges escaped unharmed in attacks, Iraqi official says
  • One judge and his wife and child injured in a bombing
  • Iraqi security source says Shiite militants may be behind attacks
  • Deaths among Iraqi civilians, soldiers and insurgents are down in June
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From Mohammed Tawfeeq
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Four Iraqi judges were targeted in separate bombing attacks Monday in Baghdad, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official said.

A judge and his wife and daughter sustained injuries in one of the attacks, the official said.

The other three jurists escaped unharmed, although a bodyguard of one of the judges was wounded.

An Iraqi security source said he believes Shiite militants perpetrated the attacks in an attempt to pressure the judges to overturn recent death penalties imposed against leaders of the Mehdi Army, the militia loyal to Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

Judge Ghanim Abdullah al-Shummari was targeted at his home Monday morning in the northeastern area of al-Banook , the security official said. The judge is on the civic court in Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood, a stronghold of the Mehdi Army.

The bombing wounded al-Shummari, his wife and his daughter, the official said. The judge's house also was slightly damaged.

A bomb detonated Monday morning at Judge Alaa Hussein Saleh's house in the eastern Shiite neighborhood of al-Ghadir, the official said. No one was injured, but Saleh's house sustained minor damage. He works at the al-Rasafa Appeals Court in Baghdad.

A similar attack occurred at the house of Judge Alaa al-Allaf, also on the al-Rasafa Appeals Court, the official said. No one was injured, but al-Allaf's house in the eastern neighborhood of Palestine had some damage.

In central Baghdad, a remotely detonated roadside bomb struck a car carrying Judge Hassan Foad, also of al-Rasafa Appeals Court. He escaped unharmed, the official said, but one of his bodyguards was wounded.

Hundreds of members of the Mehdi Army militia have been imprisoned in recent months in the wake of an Iraqi-led military crackdown to stamp out Shiite militants and establish authority in Shiite-dominated areas of Iraq.

Meanwhile, the number of deaths among Iraqi civilians, soldiers and insurgents continued to decline during the month of June, according to data from the country's Health, Defense and Interior ministries.

Nearly 450 civilians were killed during the 30-day span, but that was an 11 percent decrease from May, when just over 500 lost their lives.

The Iraqi military lost 21 soldiers, while 123 insurgents were reported to have been killed.

A slight increase was seen with the number of American casualties during the month. As of Monday, 29 soldiers had been killed -- 10 more than May's total, which was the lowest in four years.

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