Gunmen set off bomb, storm government compound, kill 7 police - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Gunmen set off bomb, storm government compound, kill 7 police

BAGHDAD (AP) -- Officials in Iraq say seven policemen are dead and 13 wounded after gunmen detonated a car bomb, then blasted their way into a government compound in Anbar province.

Today's attack led to a three-hour standoff between Shiite-dominated security forces and suspected Sunni insurgents.

It was the first serious gunbattle for Iraqi forces against insurgents without American backup since the U.S. military completed its withdrawal last month.

The area is a former hotbed of Sunni insurgents.

Violence has surged since American troops pulled out. More than 145 people have been killed in attacks since the start of the year.

Most of the latest attacks appear to be aimed at Iraq's majority Shiites, suggesting Sunni insurgents are trying to undermine the Shiite-dominated government.

Iraq was plunged into a political crisis after Shiite-dominated government charged the Sunni vice president, Tareq al-Hashemi, with running death squads. He has fled to the autonomous Kurdish region, out of reach of authorities in Baghdad.

A court ruled today that he must stand trial in Baghdad.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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