Skip to main content

Iraq attacks kill at least 12

By Mohammed Tawfeeq, CNN
updated 8:34 AM EST, Mon February 4, 2013
Iraqi inspect their house damaged by the explosion that killed at least three people on January 10, 2013, in the Hurriyah.
Iraqi inspect their house damaged by the explosion that killed at least three people on January 10, 2013, in the Hurriyah.
  • NEW: Three police officers die in checkpoint attack, bringing day's death toll to 12
  • Among those targeted in the attacks was the preside of Diyala University
  • The university president was wounded and two of his guards were killed, officials said
  • A bus bomb exploded near a police station in Baghdad, killing at least three people

Read a version of this story in Arabic.

Baghdad, Iraq (CNN) -- Heightened sectarian tensions erupted into violence Thursday in a wave of attacks that left at lest 12 people dead. Three of the victims were police officers, authorities said.

Among those targeted Thursday was the president of Diyala University, Abass al-Dulaimai, who was wounded when two roadside bombs hit his convoy in Baquba, 60 kilometers (about 37 miles) north of Baghdad, the officials said.

Two of al-Dulaimai's bodyguards died in the explosions and three others were wounded, the officials said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release details to the media.

The three police officers died in Taji, about 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) north of Baghdad, when gunmen attacked a police checkpoint with machine guns, hand grenades and rocket-propelled grenades, police said.

Read more: Thousands protest in Shiite provinces in southern Iraq

An Iraqi army officer, meanwhile, was killed when gunmen broke into his home in Baquba and opened fire, the officials said.

Two members of a local Awakening Council were killed when bombs exploded outside their homes north of Baquba, they said. The councils, also known as Sons of Iraq, are made up predominantly of Sunni Arab fighters who turned on al Qaeda in Iraq in late 2006.

Among the attacks in Baghdad was a bus bomb that exploded near a police station in the predominantly Shiite neighborhood of Hurriya, killing at least three people and wounding 11, the officials said.

Rising tensions were highlighted this week when thousands of pro-government Shiites took to the street to counter Sunni demonstrations following the arrests of Finance Minister Rafei el-Essawi's bodyguards. El-Essawi is Sunni.

Read more: A father seeks peace in a place of war

While violence has fallen off in Iraq since 2006 and 2007 when sectarian tensions nearly ripped the country apart, increased attacks in recent months have raised fears about the possibility of a return to that level of violence.

The most recent attacks came the same day that the Iraqi government reported at least 208 Iraqi civilians, soldiers and police officers died in December violence, according to figures compiled by Iraq's Interior, Defense and Health ministries. The casualties were predominantly civilians, according to the ministries.

The total does not include those killed in Iraq's semiautonomous Kurdish region, which keeps its own death toll tally.

Read more: Snowstorm, fierce winds and deadly flooding thrash Middle East

CNN's Chelsea J. Carter contributed to this report.

Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 7:27 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.