Iraqi police say insurgent attacks in several parts of the country have killed eight people, including six family members whose home was blown up in central Iraq.
Police say several bombs exploded around the house before dawn Sunday in the town of Iskandariyah, also damaging a nearby residence. Two of those killed in the attack were children. Fourteen other people were wounded. The motive for the bombing was not clear.
Iskandariyah once was one of the most violent towns in Iraq during the height of an insurgency against the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, but it has been relatively stable in recent years.
In other violence Sunday, security officials say an Iraqi soldier was shot dead in front of his home in the town of Khales in central Iraq's Diyala province. A separate attack west of Baghdad killed an Iraqi militia leader opposed to al-Qaida and wounded two other people.
Meanwhile, radical Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is calling for “military resistance” against any U.S. military trainers who remain in Iraq after the end of this year. The prominent anti-American cleric made the comment on his website Saturday.
Al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia fought U.S. troops in Iraq until 2008, when he disbanded the force and focused his movement on Iraq's political process.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government has agreed to talks with the United States on allowing U.S. troops to continue training Iraqi forces after an end-of-2011 deadline for the U.S. military to pull out of the country. Al-Sadr's party is a key member of Mr. Maliki's coalition and objected to that agreement.
In his statement, al-Sadr said any government that allows U.S. forces to stay, even for training purposes, is “weak.”
U.S. and Iraqi officials say Iraqi forces are capable of maintaining internal security but need training in using heavy weaponry to defend the country's borders, airspace and territorial waters.