BAGHDAD – Iraqi officials said seven people were killed in attacks in the capital and in the western city of Fallujah on Sunday, including a mosque preacher who was gunned down outside a sweets shop.
A police officer said assailants shot dead the preacher, Sheik Talib Zuwayid of the al-Baraa mosque in Fallujah, along with his nephew and another man. A health official confirmed the deaths and said another man was injured.
Residents said Zuwayid was one of the organizers of weekly Sunni demonstrations against the Shiite-led government that have been taking place for the past three months. The police officer however said it was unclear if the killings were related to the protests.
Immediately after he was killed, residents hung up posters announcing the man's death on Fallujah's main road. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to release information.
In the Iraqi capital, two separate explosions killed four people and wounded 14. Two police officers said a bomb attached to a policeman's car exploded early Sunday morning in the capital's northern Kazimiyah neighborhood, killing an officer and a bystander and wounding five others.
In another incident, two other police officers said a suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden car into an army checkpoint in Baghdad's western suburb of Abu Ghraib, killing two soldiers and wounding nine people, of which four were civilians.
Two health officials confirmed the causalities.
All officials spoke anonymously, as they were not authorized to release information.
Police and military personnel are favorite targets of militants seeking to undermine the Iraqi government's efforts to maintain security.
With additional reporting by Sinan Salaheddin in Baghdad. Follow Salaheddin on twitter.com/sinansm