Published January 08, 2015
A series of attacks, mainly against Iraqi troops, killed 13 people in Baghdad and in the country's west on Thursday as the government pressed ahead with a draft law meant to establish a community-based national guard force in efforts to mobilize Iraq's Sunni minority in the battle against the Islamic State group.
In one of Thursday's attacks, a suicide bomber drove his explosives-laden car into an army checkpoint near the town of al-Baghdadi, about 110 miles northwest of Baghdad, killing five soldiers and wounding 12, police officials said.
In Baghdad, a bomb blast in a commercial street in the western district of Ghazaliyah killed four people and wounded eight, while a bomb near a line of shops killed two people in the city's northwest, the officials said.
Earlier, gunmen in a speeding car opened fire on an army checkpoint in Baghdad's western suburb of Abu Ghraib, killing two soldiers.
Hospital officials confirmed the causalities. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.
Meanwhile, Iraq's parliament speaker, Salim al-Jubouri said that the draft law to establish a community-driven national guard in each province would be finished and submitted to the parliament within the next two weeks
The move is mainly designed to appease and mobilize Sunni tribes against the extremists form the Islamic State group who made big advances in the Sunni western province of Anbar in recent months. Members of the Sunni minority have been complaining of second-class treatment by the Shiite-led government and abuse by Shiite militias.
Once the law is approved, it could still take months to assemble and equip such a force.
"Obviously the events of Anbar ... led to a popular mobilization of the people to confront the IS group," al-Jubouri told The Associated Press from Irbil in northern Iraq.
Iraq is facing its worst crisis since the 2011 withdrawal of U.S. troops, with the Islamic State group in control of large swaths of land in the country's north and west.