Gunmen kill wife, two sons of Iraqi Sunni Arab cleric in Baghdad

Gunmen killed the wife and two sons of a Sunni Arab cleric north of Baghdad, while a baker was shot dead inside his bakery in the Iraqi capital, police said Tuesday. The wife and sons of cleric Qassim Daham al-Hamdani, 44, were killed late Monday in Muqdadiyah, about 90 kilometers (60 miles) north of Baghdad, said Diyala police's Joint Coordination Center.

The mosque cleric was not at the house at the time of the attack, police said. Two armed men walked into a bakery in Baghdad's western Khadra neighborhood and killed a baker at 7:30 a.m., said police Lt. Maitham Abdul-Razzaq.

The killings occurred amid heightened sectarian tensions in Iraq and U.S.-backed efforts to form a national unity government comprising the country's Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish politicians.

Sunni Arabs accuse the Shiite-led Interior Ministry forces of human rights abuses against Sunnis and of alienating the community further by their tough tactics. Ministry officials insist the raids are necessary to combat the insurgent threat, reports the AP. I.L.

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