Nine dead in bomb and rocket attacks

Insurgents launched roadside bomb blasts and rocket-propelled grenade attacks north of Baghdad early today, killing at least nine people, including a policeman’s four children.

Insurgents launched roadside bomb blasts and rocket-propelled grenade attacks north of Baghdad early today, killing at least nine people, including a policeman’s four children.

The children, aged from six to 11 years, and their uncle died in the attack by a team of insurgents shortly after midnight on their home in Balad Ruz, 45 miles northeast of Baghdad, according to spokesman from the Iraqi police Joint Coordination Center.

Their father, Abdul-Sattar Hussein, was unhurt in the attack, launched by insurgents firing rocket-propelled grenades at their home and wounding his wife, said the spokesman.

Four policemen were killed and nine wounded in a pre-dawn roadside bomb blast that targeted their patrol in Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, the same centre said.

Iraq’s violence raged in tandem with continued kidnapping sagas as footage was aired of the abducted son of the secretary of Iraq’s defence minister. No word has also been heard of a female American journalist taken hostage in Baghdad on January 7 and threatened with being killed.

Hussein Sabah was abducted about 10 days ago in Baghdad’s Mansour suburb after leaving his home in the heavily fortified Green Zone where the Iraqi government and US Embassy are based.

Sabah, aged in his late teens or early 20s, was seen on a tape aired by Al-Arabiya TV reading a statement calling on the Iraqi government to end its support of US-led coalition forces.

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