BAGHDAD, Nov 22 (Reuters) Al Qaeda militants killed at least eight members of a neighbourhood police patrol in southern Baghdad today after shooting two Iraqi soldiers and stealing their vehicle, police said.
The al Qaeda fighters drove up to the police patrol in the stolen Iraqi army vehicle before opening fire in an attack in the Hawr Rajab area of southern Baghdad's Doura district, a predominantly Sunni Arab area and al Qaeda stronghold.
An Interior Ministry official confirmed that eight ''Awakening Council'' members had been killed. He said three Iraqi soldiers were also killed and another three were wounded.
Mainly Sunni Arab tribal sheikhs have been organising their young men into local police units, known as concerned local citizens, to drive out Sunni Islamist al Qaeda, which have been partly credited for falling levels of violence in Iraq.
REUTERS PD HS1636