Dozens of al-Qaida fighters, some wearing army uniforms, killed 26 policemen in a wave of attacks on checkpoints and officers' homes across Haditha in west Iraq on Monday, police said.
The assault, launched at 2:00 am (2300 GMT on Sunday), saw insurgents dressed in military uniforms and riding in stolen army vehicles simultaneously attacking two checkpoints in the east and west of Haditha before storming other security posts and raiding the homes of two officers.
"A total of 26 policemen were killed, including a colonel and a captain, and three others were wounded when several armed men wearing security uniforms and carrying forged arrest warrants attacked several checkpoints," said Haditha police spokesman Major Tareq Sayeh Hardan.
"Al-Qaida is responsible for this," Hardan said, noting that investigators found al-Qaida literature in a vehicle that the attackers left behind.
According to police Lieutenant Colonel Owaid Khalaf, who said he was involved in some of Monday's firefights, the gunmen first attacked checkpoints at the eastern and western edges of Haditha.
"They then entered the town and were distributed throughout Haditha, where other gunmen were waiting for them in civilian cars," said Khalaf.
"More than 50 gunmen altogether started attacking checkpoints all over the town," he added, noting that at least one attacker was killed in the gunfights.
In: World News
Tags: Gunmen, Attacks, Haditha, Kill, 26, Iraqi, Policemen, Al-Qaida, fighters, killled, police, officers, dead, west, Iraq
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