At least 11 people, including a senior police commander, have been killed in the northern Iraqi city of Tikrit by a suicide bomber wearing a vest packed with explosives, police have said.
Lieutenant Colonel Ahmed Subhi al-Fahal, head of of the police unit in Tikrit, the hometown of the late Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, was killed along with four of his body guards while shopping in a crowded street on Thursday, police said.
Seven civilians and two other police officers were wounded in the attack in the city, 150km north of Baghdad, the capital, police said.
Fahel, who was in his 40s, was one of the leaders of a campaign against al-Qaeda in predominantly Sunni Arab Salaheddin which began in 2007 and helped eradicate the terror network's presence in the province.
The officer, who was also a policeman during Saddam's rule, had previously escaped several assassination attempts.
In another incident in northern Iraq, two soldiers were killed at a checkpoint in the town of Mohallabiyah, 40km northwest of the main northern city of Mosul, when assailants opened fire on them before fleeing.
In Baghdad, one person was killed and six wounded by a bomb in Adhamiyah, a predominantly Sunni Arab northern neighbourhood, an interior ministry official said.
Violence across Iraq dropped dramatically last month, with the fewest deaths in attacks since the US-led invasion of 2003.
Official figures showed that a total of 122 people were killed last month - 88 civilians, 22 policemen and 12 soldiers.