16 people killed in attacks across Iraq


At least 16 people have been killed in attacks across Iraq as new figures show violence claimed nearly 800 lives in the country in May.

On Sunday, militants ambushed five Iraqi off-duty soldiers who were on a taxi between the cities of Baiji and Samarra, in Iraq’s Saladin province, killing all of them.

Roadside bomb attacks also claimed the lives of three other soldiers and a policeman elsewhere in the province.

According to reports on the same day, two teachers were also shot dead in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

Shootings and bombings in Iraq’s northern city of Mosul and other areas in Nineveh province claimed the lives of four other people.

An Iraqi policeman also lost his life in the violence in the Iraqi city of Muqdadiyah in Diyala province.

No group has claimed responsibility but officials blame the attacks on Takfiri militants from the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Meanwhile, the United Nations mission to Iraq said that at least 799 people were killed in “acts of terrorism” and ongoing violence in the Arab country in May. The UN figures reportedly do not include casualties in the western province of Anbar where Iraqi troops, backed by local Sunni tribesmen, have been fighting al-Qaeda-affiliated militants since late December 2013.

“I strongly deplore the sustained level of violence … that continues rocking the country,” the UN special envoy to Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov, said.

Iraq is currently witnessing a wave of violence unprecedented in recent years.

Takfiri groups, including the so-called ISIL, are reportedly coming to Iraq from neighboring Syria and Saudi Arabia to undermine security in the country.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has said Saudi Arabia and Qatar are responsible for the security crisis and growing terrorism in his country, denouncing the Al Saud regime as a major supporter of global terrorism.