BAQUBA, Iraq, June 12 (Xinhua) -- A former anti-Qaida Sunni militiaman was killed and seven people injured Tuesday in separate gunfire and bomb attacks in Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, a provincial police source said.
Gunmen shot dead a former member of the government-backed Awakening Council group in front of his house in al-Gatoun near the provincial capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
The Awakening Council group, also known as Sons of Iraq movement or Sahwa, consists of mostly anti-U.S. Sunni insurgent militant groups who turned their rifles to fight al-Qaida network after Sahwa's leaders became dismayed by al-Qaida's brutality and religious zealotry in the country.
In a separate incident, a roadside bomb struck a police vehicle in an area located 7 km west of Baquba, injuring three policemen aboard, including an officer, the source said.
In addition, two Sahwa members were wounded when gunmen attacked their checkpoint in the town of Mekhiesa, some 35 km northeast of Baquba, the source added.
A passer-by was also wounded at the scene, while Iraqi security forces arrested four suspects for interrogation, he said.
Separately, gunmen using assault rifles wounded a civilian in the town of al-Muradiyah, some 20 km southwest of Baquba, he added.
Also in the province, Iraqi security forces carried out search operations across the province during the past 24 hours and arrested 12 suspects, including four wanted individuals, the source added.
Diyala province has long been a stronghold for al-Qaida militants and other insurgent groups since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.