Bombs targeting homes of Iraqi policemen kill 7

BAGHDAD (AP) — Homemade bombs planted around the houses of Iraqi policemen killed seven people Friday, including a soldier trying to defuse one of the devices, authorities said, in the latest attack on security personnel working for the Shiite-led government.

At least seven of the bombs exploded shortly before dawn in the town of Khalidiya, 15 miles (25 kilometers) east of the western city of Ramadi. Eighteen people were wounded, including women and children. One woman was also among those killed.

Iraqi troops responding to the blasts uncovered more bombs and detonated them. The Iraqi soldier was killed while unearthing one of the bombs, and two others were injured, officials said.

The explosions targeted the houses of two policemen and an investigator in the Khalidiya area, said a local police officer. His account was confirmed by an Interior Ministry official. Both declined to be identified because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

It was not immediately known whether the targeted police officials were among the casualties. Five homes were hit in the blasts.

The rural area in Iraq's western Anbar province is dominated by Sunni Arabs and is the birthplace of the Sahwa, or Awakening, in which gunmen who once fought U.S. forces switched sides to battle al-Qaida in a major turning point of the war.

Since then, Iraq's government has sought to find jobs for tens of thousands of Sahwa militiamen, in part to merge them with the Shiite-dominated security forces. But many of the Sunni militiamen remain frustrated that they either have yet to be paid or are working at menial jobs that have little to do with security.

Meanwhile, a bombing inside a clothing shop in Baghdad's southern Dora neighborhood killed one person and wounded six others, police said.