String of attacks kill 5 in Iraq

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Associated Press

Posted on May 12, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Updated Sunday, May 12 at 3:36 PM

BAGHDAD (AP) — Gunfire attacks in Iraq on Sunday killed five people, including a provincial official in a southern city.

Violence has been on the rise following a deadly security crackdown on a Sunni protest camp in northern Iraq. The bloodshed has raised fears that the country could be heading for a new wave of sectarian fighting like that which nearly pushed it to the brink of civil war in the middle of the last decade.

The deadliest attack came when gunmen in a speeding car opened fire on an outdoor vegetable market in the town of Mishahda, killing three civilians and wounding three others. The town is 30 kilometers (20 miles) north of the capital.

Also, police said drive-by shooters killed a police officer driving his car in Baghdad's northern neighborhood of Shaab.

In the southern oil hub of Basra, police said gunmen shot and killed Ali Hussein, a Sunni member of the Basra Provincial Council, as he was leaving a mosque after night prayers.

Health officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information to reporters.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility. Insurgents routinely target Iraqi police and government officials in an attempt to undermine Iraq's government. Attacks on civilians are often sectarian in nature.

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