At least 20 dead in Iraq violence

Aftermath of  a car bomb  in the Iraqi town of Khalis on December 1.

Story highlights

  • 13 people died in a car bombing in Khalis
  • Gunmen kill seven people in the town of al-Jeel
  • Nine people are wounded in two Baghdad roadside bombings
At least 20 people were killed and dozens more were wounded in a number of attacks and shootings in Iraq on Thursday, government officials said.
In Khalis, about 75 kilometers (46 miles) north of Baghdad, at least 13 people died and 31 others were wounded when a car bomb exploded at an outdoor vegetable and fruit market Thursday morning, Mayor Odai al-Khadran told CNN. The predominantly Shiite town is in Diyala province.
In the small, predominantly Sunni town of al-Jeel, about 40 kilometers (24 miles) north of Baghdad, gunmen stormed three separate houses, opening fire randomly while residents slept. Seven people were killed, including two women and a child, police officials in Baquba told CNN. Five other people, including three women, were wounded.
During the peak of sectarian violence in 2006 and 2007, al-Jeel was thought to be controlled by al Qaeda in Iraq, but the town's main tribe later turned against al Qaeda, with many of its members joining an Awakening Council.
In Baghdad, two roadside bombs exploded in two separate locations, wounding nine people, including four police officers, police said.
The violence comes as U.S. troops are winding down their presence in Iraq. There are about 13,000 U.S. soldiers in Iraq, down from a peak of 170,000.
Iraqi forces will be given full responsibility for the nation's security at the end of the year, when U.S. soldiers leave the country under terms of a security agreement.