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Attacks kill 12 in Baghdad as "3,000 flee Iraq daily"


dpa German Press Agency
Published: Sunday December 24, 2006

Baghdad- Twelve Iraqis were killed and nearly 50 injured in attacks north-east of Baghdad Sunday, as an Iraqi official reported that around 3,000 Iraqis were fleeing the country every day. In Muqdadia near Baquba, around 60 kilometres from Baghdad, a suicide bomber blew himself up in a police building killing seven police officers and injuring 30 others, police sources said.

Another Iraqi died and 17 others were injured when a bomb blew up at a market in Baquba.

Two soldiers were killed in a bomb attack on a patrol near the city.

Armed assailants killed two police officers and injured a third officer in an attack on a road block north of the city.

Meanwhile, the head of the migration committee, Abdel Khalik Zankana, announced Sunday in Iraq's parliament that 3,000 Iraqis daily were fleeing the chaos and violence-plagued country. The figures were based on surveys by transport companies and Iraqi embassies, he said.

The government had estimated the number of those fleeing Iraq far lower.

The turning point came after a bomb attack on an important holy Shiite shrine in Samarra in February. The attack unleashed a wave of violence followed by counterattacks mainly between Sunnis and Shiites.

Official sources put the total of families who have been forced out of their houses at between 60,000 and 80,000 so far. Expulsions and mass escapes have increased markedly in Iraq this year.

© 2006 dpa German Press Agency