BAQUBA, Iraq (AFP) – Three brothers who were members of the US-allied Sahwa “Sons of Iraq” militia that helped tame the nation’s insurgency were killed when a roadside bomb engulfed their car on Sunday, officials said.
The incident, in which a fourth brother was wounded, occurred around 10:00 am (0700 GMT) in Adhaim in Diyala province, northeast of Baghdad, said a security official who confirmed the men were Sahwa fighters.
A hospital official in the provincial capital Baquba said three brothers had died and a fourth was hurt.
Diyala, which is ethnically and religiously mixed, still sees sporadic attacks despite security improvements elsewhere in Iraq.
The Sahwa (Awakening) movement, known as the “Sons of Iraq” by the US army, joined American and Iraqi forces in 2006 and 2007 to fight Al-Qaeda and its supporters, leading to a dramatic fall in violence across the country.
Control of the Sahwa passed to Iraq last October, and for the past year their wages — said to have been cut from 300 dollars under US leadership to 100 dollars — have been paid, often late, by the Shiite-led government.
Recent months have seen a series of apparent revenge attacks on Sahwa members, leaving dozens dead.