World Bulletin/News Desk
A total of 50 members from former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's Baath Party were killed by Iraqi army on Saturday in an air raid on the northern city of Tikrit, according to an Iraqi official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Among the killed was Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, the son of Saddam's fugitive former deputy Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri -- the current leader of the outlawed Baath Party, -- the official said.
"After receiving intelligence on a meeting of these leaders in a house in Tikrit, anti-terror squads raided the house in coordination with the air force, killing all 50 members there,“ said the official.
Until a U.S.-led invasion toppled Saddam in 2003, the Baath Party had maintained a tight grip on the country for more than three decades.
The party was founded in Syria in 1943 espousing an Arab nationalist ideology called Baathism, and then extended its branch to Iraq.
Tikrit was the home city of Saddam Hussein's powerful tribe.
Blasts in Baghdad
In Baghdad, six people were killed and 13 wounded in two separate blasts, said a security source.
"Four people were killed and eight injured in a car blast in Tarmiyah area, north of Baghdad, and another blast in Al-Jihad neighborhood southwest of the city left two people dead and five wounded," said the source.
Since Tuesday, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, which has developed into a formidable force inside Syria, has extended its reach in Iraq, gaining near-complete control of the northern Iraqi city of Tikrit and seizing Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city.
The group seized large swaths of western Iraq’s Anbar Province in January, including much of Fallujah and parts of Ramadi, flashpoints of the U.S.-led war in 2003.
Iraq has seen a marked increase in sectarian violence between Sunni and Shia Muslims in recent months, which the Iraqi government blames on ISIL.
Last Mod: 14 Haziran 2014, 11:58