BAGHDAD, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- At least 44 people, mostly policemen, were killed in violent attacks in Iraq, including suicide bombings in the western province of Anbar, police said on Wednesday.
The deadliest attacks occurred in west Iraq, where dozens of gunmen and suicide bombers carried out a series of attacks on the Iraqi police in the city of Rutba, some 370 km west of the capital Baghdad, an Anbar provincial police source told Xinhua.
The coordinated attacks started late on Tuesday, when a suicide bomber blew up an explosive-laden car at a police station in Rutba and killed at least six policemen and wounded 14 others, the source said.
Meanwhile, four policemen were killed when gunmen attacked their checkpoints in Rutba, while two more policemen were killed and four wounded in a car bomb explosion near a security patrol in the city, the source added.
Early on Wednesday, gunmen ambushed several security patrols on the highway west of Anbar's provincial capital of Ramadi, some 110 km west of Baghdad. The gunmen kidnapped 14 policemen and cut their throats before throwing their bodies near the highway, he said.
Later in the morning, a suicide bomber drove an explosive- packed truck into a police checkpoint on a bridge over the highway outside of Rutba and blew it up, destroying part of the bridge and killing four policemen and three truck drivers who were crossing the bridge, he added.
Also in the province, gunmen in a vehicle opened fire from their assault rifles on a police checkpoint in Sajjariyah area, just north of Ramadi, and killed three policemen, the source said.
During the past few days, Anbar province has witnessed a series of deadly attacks including coordinated suicide bomb attacks which targeted local government buildings and security forces in the provincial cities of Rawa and Fallujah. The two massive attacks killed a total of 18 people and wounded 42.
Separately, a sticky bomb attached to a civilian car detonated while moving in Abu Ghraib area, some 25 km west of Baghdad, killing the driver, a local police source told Xinhua.
Insurgent attacks continue in the volatile Sunni Arab area west of Baghdad that stretches through Anbar province to Iraq's western borders with Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
Elsewhere, three people were killed and nine wounded, most of them school children, in a roadside bomb explosion in the town of Madain, some 30 km south of Baghdad, an Interior Ministry source anonymously told Xinhua.
In Baghdad, a roadside bomb went off at a thoroughfare in Ameriyah district in the western part of Baghdad, killing four people and wounding 11 others, the source said.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the al-Qaida front in Iraq, in most cases, was responsible for such suicide bombings in the country.
For his part, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki admitted that al-Qaida has returned to its role of killing civilians and destroying the government buildings, and called on the international community to hold a conference to coordinate efforts to fight back terrorism which is threatening the region and the world as well, saying that Iraq is ready host such a conference.
"If the world keeps silent on terrorism, it won't be just confined in Syria, Iraq and the region, but will spread ... to other countries and will become a serious global phenomenon," Maliki said on the official Iraqia channel.
Iraq is witnessing its worst eruption of violence in recent years, which raises fears that the country is sliding back to the full-blown civil conflict that peaked in 2006 and 2007, when monthly death toll sometimes exceeded 3,000.
The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq said that almost 6,000 civilians were killed and over 14,000 others were injured in Iraq from January to September this year.
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