Baghdad : Attacks in Iraq killed nine people on Saturday, including a parliamentary candidate and four children, officers and medical sources said, as the country suffers its worst violence in years.
Iraq has been hit by a year-long surge in bloodshed that has reached levels not seen since 2008, driven principally by widespread discontent among its Sunni Arab minority and by the civil war in neighbouring Syria.
In Sharqat, north of Baghdad, gunmen shot dead Mohammed Hussein Hamid, who was running in parliamentary elections scheduled for next month on Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlak’s list.
Hamid was the second parliamentary candidate to be killed this year, after gunmen shot dead Hamza al-Shammari last month.
Election candidates have been targeted in the past, with nearly 20 hopefuls killed ahead of April 2013 provincial council elections.
In Samarra, also north of Baghdad, a shooting at checkpoint killed two secondary school students and a policeman, while a roadside bomb in a village south of Sharqat killed two children.