7 Iraqi police officers killed in attacks
BAGHDAD -- Two bombings and a drive-by shooting killed seven Iraqi police officers yesterday in a former al-Qaida stronghold in the western part of the country, authorities said, another sign of the militants' resurgence.
The attacks before dawn around the city of Fallujah also wounded nine officers. They come a week after the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq announced a deadly campaign to reclaim parts of the country the Sunni insurgency was forced to leave before the U.S. military pulled out in December.
After Sunday's attacks, security forces sealed off all roads into Fallujah and imposed a curfew on the city, which is 40 miles west of Baghdad.
Officials said two explosives-packed cars blew up within a few minutes of each other in Fallujah and the nearby village of Karma as security patrols drove by, killing three policemen. Fifteen minutes later, a gang of gunmen fired on a Karma police station, killing four. The gunmen escaped.
The casualties were confirmed by local hospital officials.
Fallujah was the site of some of the bloodiest battles of the war in 2004 between U.S. forces and the Sunni insurgency. In 2007, some local tribal leaders in Fallujah and elsewhere in Iraq's Sunni-dominated western Anbar region joined forces with American troops and forced al-Qaida to retreat in what was a turning point of the war. -- AP