Five family members among eight killed in Iraq

Gun and bomb attacks north of Baghdad killed eight people, including a town mayor's bodyguard and four of his women relatives, Iraqi security officials said on Sunday.

In the deadliest attack, attackers armed with silenced pistols entered the home of bodyguard Adnan Hezbar and killed him and four women relatives, according to a police officer.

"Gunmen attacked the house of a bodyguard of the mayor of Tarmiyah," said police First Lieutenant Uday Sarhan. "They attacked the house at around 11:30 pm (2030 GMT) and killed five people."

Sarhan said the victims were Hezbar and four women from his family, but did not give further details. After carrying out the shootings, the attackers destroyed the house with explosives.

Hezbar was a bodyguard for Jassim Mohammed Saleh, mayor of Tarmiyah, a town 45 kilometres (30 miles) north of Baghdad that was once a stronghold of Sunni insurgents and Al-Qaeda.

Also north of Baghdad, in the restive town of Baquba in Diyala province, a roadside bomb set off in front of a popular cafe on Sunday killed two civilians and wounded another, a police lieutenant colonel said.

A bomb attached to a motorcycle also exploded near an Iraqi army patrol in Saadiyah, killing one soldier and hurting four others, according to an Iraqi army major.

Ahmed Ibrahim, a doctor at Baquba hospital, confirmed the tolls in both attacks.

Violence in Iraq has declined since its peak in 2006 and 2007. According to official figures, 150 people were killed in February.

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