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Page last updated at 12:08 GMT, Thursday, 7 January 2010

Iraq bomb attack on senior police kills eight

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Eight people have been killed in a series of bomb attacks on police in the Iraqi town of Hit, west of Baghdad, police say.

Four explosions appear to have been caused by bombs planted at the houses of prominent policemen.

It is the latest in a series of attacks on officials active in the drive to expel militant groups from Anbar province.

Six other people were said to have been injured in the attacks.

The injured are reported to include women and children.

Bombers had put explosives around four houses in the middle of the night, and set them off shortly afterwards.

One of the main targets seems to have been Maj Walid Suleiman, a senior figure in the drive against insurgent groups in the area.

He was injured in the attack on his house, but at least four members of his immediate family were among those who died, according to local police.

The attack comes a week after twin suicide blasts in the provincial capital Ramadi killed 25 people and severely injured regional governor Qassim Mohammed.

Violence has been rising as Iraq prepares for a March general election.

BBC Baghdad correspondent Jim Muir says Anbar province was once a hotbed of the insurgency, but two years ago, local Sunni tribes and their followers turned against the militants, and joined common cause against them with the Iraqi government and American forces.

The province was largely calm for some time, but now seems to be suffering a mounting number of revenge attacks by the Islamist militants.



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