Iraq: Mayor Shot Dead As Multiple Explosions Kill 24

The mayor of the Iraqi city of Falluja was shot dead while bombings in various locations across the country have killed 24 more people, the police reported Thursday.

Adnan al-Jalbawi, Falluja’s mayor for the past three years, died in a burst of gunfire while visiting a sewage pumping station, police officials in Anbar province confirmed.

One of the mayor’s bodyguards was critically wounded as well.

The attacks reportedly took place in  Baghdad and Baquba, to the north, each killed 10 people, some other persons were killed in explosions in Falluja.

Bombing in  Baquba targeted pilgrims gathering for the Shiite religious commemoration of Ashura, the most holy day in the Shiite calendar.

    In Baghdad, Shiite pilgrims and security forces were among the targets of gunfire and more bombs, which left 10 dead and 17 wounded in six separate incidents, the police said.

    Back in Falluja, bombs destroyed two houses belonging to police officers on the city’s east side — and when onlookers gathered around the homes, which were empty at the time, a second bomb exploded.

    That blast left four people dead and 14 wounded, women and children included.

    There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks but the government has blamed other recent killings on Sunni extremists loyal to al Qaeda in Iraq and the Anbar provincial council voted to fire police commander Hadi Azraiej on Wednesday due to the deteriorating security situation there.

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