June 15, 2010 / 10:25 AM / in 9 years

Clashes in Iraq's restive Mosul kill seven

MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) - At least seven people were killed in clashes in Iraq’s turbulent city of Mosul, where a stubborn al Qaeda and Sunni Arab insurgency continues to fight the Iraqi government, police said on Tuesday.

The clashes broke out in Bou Saif village on Monday night to the south of the northern city after suspected al Qaeda militants stormed a home and killed a civil servant working for Iraq’s Trade Ministry.

The family of the victim set off to seek vengeance, attacking the nearby homes of residents suspected of being associated with al Qaeda. They killed six people including two women, police sources said, asking not to be identified.

“An initial investigation found that the violence was triggered by the killing of a civilian by suspected al Qaeda terrorists overnight,” a police officer investigating the incident told Reuters.

Security forces cordoned off the village and arrested suspects, police said.

Separately, a roadside bomb targeting an Iraqi military patrol killed two soldiers in western Mosul and a mortar round landed at a police checkpoint, wounding a policeman, in the east of the city.

Mosul is seen as Sunni Islamist al Qaeda’s last remaining urban stronghold after the group was kicked out of many parts of Baghdad and western Anbar province by U.S. troops allied with local Sunni Arab tribal militias in 2007.

Overall violence has fallen sharply in Iraq since the peak of sectarian warfare in 2006/07, but an inconclusive election in March that produced no outright winner has fuelled tensions.

The new parliament convened on Monday for the first time since the March 7 election, but negotiations over forming a government are expected to take many more weeks.

Reporting by Jamal al-Badrani; writing by Ahmed Rasheed; editing by Peter Graff

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