Unknown gunmen kill 4 militia at Iraqi checkpoint

Gunmen opened fire on a checkpoint near Baghdad, killing four members of an Iraqi government-backed militia, a militia leader and officials said.

Unknown gunmen kill 4 militia at Iraqi checkpoint

Gunmen opened fire on a checkpoint near Baghdad on Tuesday, killing four members of an Iraqi government-backed militia, a militia leader and officials said.

The gunmen pulled two cars up to the checkpoint in a remote, desert area outside Garma, 30 km (20 miles) northwest of Baghdad, and shot the guards from a local militia unit, called Awakening Councils or "Sahwa" in Arabic, a militia leader said.

The men's bodies were riddled with bullets, said Awad Sami, a commander from the local guard unit.

A security source in Baghdad, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said an unspecified number of attackers stormed a checkpoint and killed all four guards.

The government took over leadership of the militias, which played an important role in driving insurgents from most of Iraq and rolling back violence from its peak in 2006-07, from U.S. forces last year and has promised to find them state jobs.

Some militiamen complained the government hasn't lived up to its promises of integrating some of them into Iraq's security forces, or otherwise finding them jobs or job training.

Sami said he fears similar attacks on Sahwa guards before Iraq's general elections on March 7. "(Insurgent) activity has increased recently, mostly targeting us, and also police patrols," he said.

Reuters
Last Mod: 30 Aralık 2009, 01:49
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