December 15, 2008 / 7:33 AM / 11 years ago

Gunmen kill seven from Iraqi family: police

MOSUL (Reuters) - Gunmen killed seven people from a single family, members of the minority Yazidi sect, when they stormed into their home in northern Iraq on Monday, police said.

Police said a woman, her husband, and the couple’s adult children were shot dead in the attack, which took place after midnight in the town of Sinjar, which is located west of Mosul, a city around 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad.

Violence in Iraq has declined sharply in the last year, but ethnically and religiously mixed Mosul remains the country’s most violent city, with car bombs, roadside blasts and shootings still taking place on a regular basis.

The U.S. military describes Mosul as al Qaeda’s last major urban haven in Iraq.

The attack is not the first time Yazidis, who are part of a pre-Islamic religious sect and live in northern Iraq and Syria, have been targeted. Al Qaeda views them as infidels.

Last year, suicide truck bombers killed hundreds of people in Yazidi villages north of Mosul in one the deadliest militant attacks in Iraq’s history.

Writing by Aseel Kami, editing by Ralph Boulton

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