Iraq Blasts Aim at Antiterror Official

BAGHDAD — A series of explosions struck the houses of an antiterrorism official and his relatives in Anbar Province in western Iraq on Thursday, killing at least seven people and underlining the precarious situation there.

Violence had decreased significantly in Anbar in the past year after local tribal leaders, supported by American forces in Iraq, defeated insurgents there. But attacks on the police, security officials and local politicians in the past few months have alarmed many as the country prepares for parliamentary elections, scheduled for March 7.

A security official in the provincial capital, Ramadi, who was granted anonymity because he was not authorized to speak with the news media said one explosion struck the house of Lt. Col. Walid Slaiman, director of the antiterrorism unit in the town of Hit, about 85 miles west of Baghdad. Colonel Slaiman was wounded in the explosion, and his mother, wife and three more family members, including one child, were killed.

Two more bombs struck the homes other members of Colonel Slaiman’s clan. One exploded in the house of a lawyer, Qais al-Hiti, killing him. The other exploded in the house of a relative who was a police officer, wounding him. At least six other people were wounded in the explosions.

A curfew was imposed on Hit. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks.

“We accuse foreign political agendas and terrorists and Al Qaeda,” said Hikmat Jassem Zaidan, the deputy governor in Anbar. “They don’t want stability in Iraq.”

Last week, two suicide bomb attacks in Ramadi killed 24 people and severely injured the governor, Qasem al Fahdawi. The Islamic State of Iraq, a group linked to Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, took responsibility for that attack.


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