Bombs kill families of 2 policemen south of Baghdad

Three bombs exploded around the home of two policemen south of Baghdad on Thursday morning, killing nine people inside, including two babies less than 6 months old, an Iraqi security official said.

No group asserted responsibility. But there has been a string of attacks lately on police, whom terrorists have labeled agents of a government they despise. The attacks come amid a political crisis that has virtually paralyzed the government in the past six weeks. Analysts say that insurgents also are taking advantage of the chaos to try to exacerbate sectarian strife between Shiite and Sunni extremists.

In the early morning hours Thursday, insurgents struck a relatively open, unprotected house in Hamia in Babil province, about 30 miles south of Baghdad, said a provincial police official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about the incident. Two policemen, who were brothers, died, as did seven of their family members, according the police official.

A short time later, in downtown Kirkuk, a parked three-wheel motorcycle blew up, according to the al-Sumaria news site. At least six people were injured or killed.

Dan Morse covers courts and crime in Montgomery County. He arrived at the paper in 2005, after reporting stops at the Wall Street Journal, Baltimore Sun and Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser, where he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He is the author of The Yoga Store Murder.

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