Eleven members of one family killed in ambush northeast of Baghdad

Eleven members of a Kurdish Shiite family were killed Saturday when gunmen sprayed their minibus with automatic weapons' fire northeast of Baghdad, police said. Three other family members were wounded, police added.

The relatives were returning to their home in the Baghdad area after visiting a family cemetery near Balad Ruz, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) northeast of the capital, police said. The dead included a baby girl, police said.

Shiite Muslims traditionally pay their respects to their dead during the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of Ramadan. The three-day holiday ends for most Shiites on Sunday.

The motive for the attack was unclear, but tensions between Shiites and Sunnis have been on the rise in the area, with extremists from each community targeting the other. On Oct. 29, a car bomb exploded in the center of a Shiite village in the same province, killing 20 people, AP reports.


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