DUBAI, (Reuters) – Several members of Iraq’s security forces were killed on Saturday in an attack in Baghdad on a funeral procession of an Al Arabiya correspondent killed earlier in the week, the television station reported.
One person was killed and four wounded when gunmen opened fire on the funeral procession in the Iraqi capital and more were killed in a later explosion, Arabiya reported.
Arabiya did not give further details on the precise number of the dead and injured. Iraqi Interior Ministry sources were not immediately available to confirm the details of the attack.
Gunmen kidnapped and killed journalist Atwar Bahjat, a well-known Iraqi correspondent, and two of her crew while they were covering the aftermath of the bombing of the Shi’ite shrine in Samarra on Wednesday.
Security forces accompanying Bahjat’s funeral procession in Baghdad managed to regain control of the situation, Arabiya had reported after the initial gun attack.
“The security forces have now established control over the route of the funeral,” Arabiya’s correspondent reported from the scene of the attack. Gunfire could be heard in the background when the correspondent earlier reported the clash.
The correspondent also reported gunmen had surrounded politicians and journalists at the funeral for Bahjat, who herself was a Sunni Muslim.
Sectarian violence broke out across Iraq after the attack on Samarra’s Golden mosque, one of Shi’ite Islam’s holiest sites.
Leading Shi’ite clerics have appealed for calm and the United Nations has called all parties for talks to find a way out of the gravest crisis Iraq has faced since the U.S. invasion three years ago.
But there was no sign of an end to the violence.
A car bomb attack on a Shi’ite holy city, the slaying of a family of 12 and a gunbattle near the home of a top Sunni Muslim clerical leader heightened fears on Saturday that Iraq may be pitching toward civil war.