Ten die in Iraq attack


An Iraqi policeman and nine relatives were killed as they slept when militants bombed their home south of Baghdad today, police sources said, in the latest attack on local officials and security forces.

The attackers planted bombs around the outside walls of the house shortly after 1am in the town of Mussayab, about 40 km north of the city of Hilla, two police sources said.

Northern Hilla was one of the main strongholds of Sunni Islamist al-Qaeda during the war.

The blasts destroyed the house, killing four men, four women and two children, the sources said.

While violence has decreased sharply in Iraq since the peak of the sectarian carnage of 2006-07, bombings, assassinations and other attacks still occur daily. Some of the worst attacks in the past year have occurred since the Shia-led government moved against two prominent Sunni politicians shortly after the last US troops left in mid-December, triggering a political crisis that threatens to unravel Iraq's fragile governing coalition.

Soldiers, police, government workers and politicians are frequent targets as insurgents try to undermine the government and challenge the rebuilt security forces.

Yesterday, gunmen in a speeding car, killed two off-duty policemen in southeastern Kirkuk.

The two brothers were killed in front of their house.