BAGHDAD, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- Five people were killed and five others were wounded in gunfire and bomb attacks on Thursday in eastern and northern Iraq, while the Iraqi security forces captured 15 suspects across the country during the day, the police said.
In Diyala province, a member of government-backed Awakening Council group and his wife were shot dead when gunmen stormed their house at a rural area near the town of Abu Sayda, northeast of the provincial capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, a provincial police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
The Awakening Council group, or Sahwa in Arabic, are mostly 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.
Also in Diyala province, a civilian was killed and three others wounded in a roadside bomb explosion near their car while travelling near a village in north of Baquba, the source said.
Separately, the Iraqi security forces conducted search operations across the province during the past 24 hours and apprehended five suspects and wanted individuals, the source added.
Diyala province, which stretches from the eastern edges of Baghdad to the Iranian border east of the country, has long been a stronghold for al-Qaida militants and other insurgent groups since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 despite repeated U.S. and Iraqi military operations against them.
In Mosul, the capital of Iraq's northern province of Nineveh, the Iraqi police traded fire with insurgents during a raid on a safe house in the al-Thawra neighborhood, killing two gunmen, capturing two more, and seizing a cache of weapons and ammunition, an anonymous provincial police source told Xinhua.
Mosul, some 400 km north of Baghdad, has been a stronghold of insurgent groups and al-Qaida fighters in the war-torn country.
Elsewhere in northern Iraq, two policemen were wounded in a twin roadside bomb explosions in central the city of Kirkuk, some 250 km north of Baghdad, a local police source said.
Also in Kirkuk, the Iraqi security forces captured eight suspects, including six wanted individuals, during raids on villages of the al-Rashad area, southwest of the city, he said.
The oil-rich Kirkuk province and its capital Kirkuk City are part of the disputed areas between the Kurds and both Arabs and Turkmans. The area has long been the hotbed of insurgency since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
Violence is still common in Iraqi cities as security deteriorated, causing a setback to the efforts of the Iraqi government to restore normalcy in the country more than two weeks after the U.S. military announced withdrawal of its combat troops from the war-torn country.