BAGHDAD — Attackers targeted Iraqi police and anti-insurgent fighters yesterday in an apparent campaign of intimidation that left at least 13 dead and multiple homes destroyed.
Also among the dead were three civilians killed by a bomb-rigged car loaded with ball bearings that exploded in a Baghdad shopping district. Elsewhere, drive-by shooters riddled a Christian man with 15 bullets in the disputed city of Kirkuk.
The spate of violence appears aimed at undermining Iraqis’ faith in the country’s security forces and exacerbating sectarian tensions.
Overall, violence has fallen sharply in recent years, thanks in part to efforts to win over former Sunni fighters who once fought US forces but later switched sides to battle Al Qaeda in Iraq.
A number of yesterday’s attacks took aim at the anti-insurgent Sunni fighters known as the Sons of Iraq, or Sahwa. Iraqi police were also targeted with home bombings.
Gunmen shot and killed a father and two of his sons at home in the al-Zaidan village, near the town of Abu Ghraib, west of the Iraqi capital. Police said that the dead man’s brother is a prominent Sahwa member and that the gunmen probably believed he was staying in the house.
In nearby al-Abid, gunmen forced the families of four policemen out of their houses at dawn and then bombed the buildings, police said.
Attackers also blew up two empty houses in the town of al-Qaim on the Syrian border. A bomb planted to ambush responding security forces killed one police officer and seriously wounded four, authorities said.