by Jamal Ahmed
BAGHDAD, July 18 (Xinhua) -- A new wave of bomb attacks on Sunday in the western outskirts of Baghdad and western part of the country targeted the government-backed anti-al-Qaida paramilitary groups killed 51 and wounded some 50 others, the police said.
The deadliest attack took place in the morning when a suicide bomber blew up his explosive vest among a crowd of Awakening Council members, or Sahwa in Arabic, who lined up to collect their salaries in Balasim village in al-Radwaniyah area.
The blast killed 43 and wounded some 40 others, most of them were Sahwa members and several others were Iraqi army soldiers.
Another suicide attack occurred at about local time 10:30 a.m. (0730 GMT) in the city of al-Qaim in the western province of Anbar, some 330 km west of Baghdad, killing four Sahwa leaders who were holding a meeting at their headquarters in the city and wounding seven others.
The bomber, disguised in police uniform, shot the guards at the entrance of the headquarters and then blew himself up.
The guards fired back but the bomber managed to hit the building which is close to the entrance and the powerful blast destroyed part of the headquarters building, including the hall of the meeting, killing the four leaders inside.
In the afternoon, three Iraqi soldiers were killed and three others were wounded by multiple explosions when they were trying to defuse bombs planted in the house of a former Awakening Council group member in a village in Abu Ghraib area west of Baghdad.
In a separate incident, Amer al-Timimi, a former Awakening Council group member, was killed when a magnetic bomb attached to his car went off in Abu Ghraib area in the afternoon.
Timimi is the brother of Abu Azzam al-Timimi, official in charge of the Awakening Council group in the once al-Qaida strongholds of Abu Ghraib and the nearby al-Amiriya areas.
Abu Azzam blamed the Iraqi government for the attacks that targeted his brother and Sahwa fighters, saying the government neglected the Sahwa groups and its security forces are not capable of taking over security.
"The government prevent us from securing our areas and handed over the security control to the police and the army, but they are infiltrated by various militias and not capable of providing security," Abu Azzam told Xinhua.
"Now we see attacks come back after the government forces took over the security file," he said.
The Awakening Council group consists of armed groups, including some powerful anti-U.S. Sunni insurgent groups, who fought the al-Qaida network after the latter exercised indiscriminate killings against both Shiite and Sunni Muslim communities.
The latest spate of attacks shed light on the challenges that the fragile Iraqi security forces are going to face after the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country according to the security agreement signed between Baghdad and Washington late in 2008.
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