BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Four bombs exploded near the home of a local leader of a government-supported Sunni militia north of Iraq’s capital on Saturday, killing four people and wounding eight others, police and health sources said.
The attack follows a major assault on Thursday on the Sahwa militia, which helped turn the tide of the war by taking up arms against al Qaeda. Six people were killed and dozens wounded when bombs exploded near a group of fighters as they lined up to receive their pay in the city of Baquba.
Iraqi security forces and Sahwa members have been frequent targets in recent weeks as militants try to destabilize Iraq’s fragile, cross-sectarian government while the United States withdraw its remaining 33,000 troops.
The four bombs exploded near a house in Taji, 20 km (12 miles) north of Baghdad, a mixed area of Shi‘ites and Sunnis that was once a battlefield for al Qaeda and the Mehdi Army Shi‘ite militia.
“Two bombs went off near the house of Isa Kadhim, a Sahwa leader in Taji town, killing his brother, his wife and two of his children,” a police source said.
“A few minutes later, another two bombs went off close to the first explosions, wounding eight people in the area.”
A source at Kadhimiya Hospital in northwestern Baghdad confirmed the death toll.
The sectarian slaughter of 2006-07 has ebbed but al Qaeda-linked Sunni insurgents and Shi‘ite militias still carry out scores of bombings and other attacks each month, more than eight years after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.
U.S. troops are scheduled to withdraw completely by the end of the year.
Reporting by Kareem Raheem; Writing by Waleed Ibrahim; Editing by Jim Loney and Sophie Hares