Shootings, explosions take at least 12 lives in Iraq

Iraqis inspect damage after multiple mortars struck the Chikuk neighbourhood in Baghdad on October 23, 2012.

Story highlights

  • At least 12 people are killed in shootings and explosions across Iraq on Wednesday
  • The worst attack comes in southern Baghdad as seven are shot in a minibus
  • Attacks also bring fatalities in Falluja and Mosul
  • The relative calm since 2008 continues to be tested by recent violence

Wednesday brought another day of fear among Iraqis that the nation might be spiraling back into a deadly cycle of violence, as at least 12 people were killed in shootings and explosions across the country, officials with Iraqi police in Baghdad told CNN.

Here's a rundown of the violence:

-- In al-Mashahda, part of southern Baghdad: Gunmen attacked a minibus with small arms fire and killed seven government employees who work for al-Nasra State Industry Company.

-- In al-Mansour, part of western Baghdad: Gunmen attacked an Iraqi army checkpoint and killed two soldiers. Two bystanders were also wounded in this attack.

In the aftermath, the attackers planted a bomb at the checkpoint, and they fled the area, authorities reported. When Iraqi police arrived to investigate the incident, the bomb went off and killed a policeman and wounded six people.

-- In Falluja: A suicide bomber drove his car into the house of the finance minister's father. That attack occured in al-Risala, a neighborhood in the southern part of the city, which is 60 kilometers (37 miles) west of Baghdad.

Rafei al-Essawi's father escaped the attack unharmed, but a female was killed, and five other people were wounded.

Falluja police did not say whether the woman who was killed or the five wounded people were relatives to the Sunni finance minister.

-- In northern Mosul: Gunmen attacked an Iraqi army checkpoint and killed one person. Mosul is about 420 kilometers (260 miles) north of Baghdad.

Daily violence had been dropping drastically across the country since 2008.

In January 2007, some 1,990 civilians were killed across the country. But recently, that trend has been severely tested.

Sporadic but spectacular attacks, including one day in September when nearly 80 people were killed in a series of attacks across the country, make most of Iraqi wondering whether the violence will ever end.

Baghdad's Shiite-dominated government has blamed the recent attacks on Sunni insurgents with ties to al Qaeda.

Last month, 365 people, including police and soldiers, were killed -- the deadliest month since August 2010.

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