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4 killed execution-style in Iraq, police chief survives bomb

by Staff Writers
Baghdad (AFP) Oct 11, 2010
Four men were killed execution-style when gunmen swooped on their town south of Baghdad early Monday, while a top police chief survived a bomb attack in the Iraqi capital, officials said.

In a pre-dawn attack in the town of Yusufiyah, gunmen wearing military uniforms hauled six men out of their homes and shot them. Four died but two survived with injuries, an interior ministry official said.

The town, 25 kilometres (15 miles) south of Baghdad, is located in a Sunni-dominated region that was an Al-Qaeda stronghold until 2008, when local militiamen rose up against the insurgents.

Another interior ministry official said all the victims were members of the Sahwa (Awakening) militia that was instrumental in turning the tide against Al-Qaeda.

In another attack on Monday, a police major general was wounded and his driver killed by a roadside bomb that targeted their convoy in eastern Baghdad, the official said. The officer's bodyguard and a passerby were wounded.

The officer is the head of the interior ministry's criminal evidence department.

The Sahwa, also known as the Sons of Iraq, were recruited by the US military among Sunni Arab tribesmen and former insurgents and played a key role in curbing violence that claimed thousands of lives in 2006 and 2007.

Dozens of Sahwa fighters have been killed in acts of retaliation in past months.

earlier related report
Iraq PM to visit Syria after year-long spat
Baghdad (AFP) Oct 12, 2010 - Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is to visit Syria on Wednesday for talks with President Bashar al-Assad, after a year-long spat between the two Arab neighbours, his office said Tuesday.

"Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is to start on Wednesday, tomorrow, a visit to Syria, our friend country, where he will meet his excellency, President Bashar al-Assad, and Prime Minister Mohammed Naji Otri," it said.

"This visit aims to improve relations in the political, economic and commercial sectors in the interests of both countries," Maliki's office said in a statement.

On Sunday, Iraq's ambassador to Damascus resumed his duties, more than a year after the spat sparked by massive truck bombs which Baghdad said were plotted in Syria, a charge denied by Damascus.

The envoys of Syria and Iraq were recalled by their respective governments in August 2009 in the wake of the bombings, which devastated the finance and foreign affairs ministries in Baghdad and left 95 dead and around 600 wounded.

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Iraq's ambassador back in Damascus as year-long spat ends
Damascus (AFP) Oct 10, 2010
Iraq's ambassador to Syria resumed his duties on Sunday after a year-long spat between the neighbours sparked by massive car bombs Baghdad said were plotted in Damascus, an Iraqi diplomat said. "The Iraqi ambassador returned to Damascus last night and resumed his duties today (Sunday)," said the diplomat, who declined to be named. Alaa Hussein al-Jawadi was appointed Iraq's first ambassa ... read more

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