Insurgents bombed an Iraqi judge’s home, killing him and at least one of his children on Saturday, while a suicide blast in the north of the country killed seven people, including four soldiers.
Nationwide violence left at least 13 people dead, including an industry ministry official, in a third consecutive day of double-digit fatalities just months before a deadline for US forces to withdraw from Iraq completely.
In the deadliest incident, a suicide bomber blew himself up close to a passing army patrol, killing at least seven people, including four soldiers, security and medical officials said.
Another 15 people were wounded, two of them soldiers, in the attack at the entrance to a popular market in the main northern city of Mosul at 7:30 pm (1630 GMT), a security official and a doctor at Mosul’s main hospital said
Earlier on Saturday, Judge Tuama Al Tamimi and one of his children were killed when insurgents planted bombs around Tamimi’s home in the town of Taji, 25 kilometres (15 miles) north of Baghdad, and blew it up.
There were conflicting reports on whether any of Tamimi’s other relatives also died in the blast. One of the judge’s bodyguards was shot dead earlier.
“The judge was killed along with his wife and daughter,” police Captain Ahmed Fahd al-Khalidi told AFP. “The insurgents put jerry cans of explosive materials in two or three locations around his house and blew it up at around 5:00 am (0200 GMT).”
“The house collapsed,” he added.
Judicial spokesman Abdelsattar Birakdar told AFP Tamimi was killed along with three of his children, with the judge’s wife and another child being treated in hospital.
Near the judge’s home, gunmen also entered the house of one of Tamimi’s police bodyguards early on Saturday and shot him dead, an interior ministry official said.
Judges in Iraq have frequently been targeted by insurgents for assassination, and many have bodyguards.
Also in Taji, gunmen wearing Iraqi army uniforms stormed the home of an industry ministry official and killed him and his daughter, the interior ministry official said.
On hearing the attack, neighbours came out of their homes and clashes ensued with the attackers, leaving one insurgent dead and two civilians wounded. The remaining gunmen managed to flee the scene.
And in Baghdad, army Colonel Mustafa Hassan was shot dead by gunmen using silenced pistols while in his car along a main road in the centre of the capital, according to the interior ministry official.
Hassan’s wife and two policemen were wounded when the car he was driving careened out of control into a nearby checkpoint. The gunmen managed to flee the scene.
The killings of Tamimi, Hassan and the industry ministry official were the latest in an apparent trend of targeting senior Iraqi officials, in a spate of attacks that have been blamed on Al Qaeda.
Four other officials have been killed in less than two weeks, and at least three have narrowly escaped being murdered.
The Islamic State of Iraq, Al-Qaeda’s front group in the country, posted a statement on the Internet jihadist forum Honein last week, claiming to have carried out 62 “operations” between the start of March and April 5.
Meanwhile, the killing on Friday of an American soldier made April the deadliest month for US forces in Iraq since 2009, according to figures compiled by AFP.