Deaths in Iraq shooting and suicide attacks

Soldiers and civilians attacked by gunfire and a suicide car bombing in Sunni-majority areas a month before elections.

    An attack at a security checkpoint and a suicide car bomb in Iraq killed 12 people and destroyed a bridge, according to police.

    Police officials said the deadliest attack took place when early on Sunday fighters sprayed with bullets a group of troops manning a checkpoint near the city of Mosul, 360km northwest of Baghdad.

    Police said seven soldiers were killed in the attack.

    Hours later, a suicide bomber set off his explosive-laden car on the main al-Houz bridge near Ramadi city, 115km west of Baghdad, killing five people and wounding seven others. Police said parts of the bridge fell into the Euphrates river.

    The attacks come exactly a month ahead of parliamentary polls that remain in disarray after the mass resignations of election commissioners last week.

    Fierce clashes pitting government security forces and allied Sunni tribal groups against a coalition of fighters have been raging in Anbar province since late December.

    Medics confirmed the casualties for both attacks. 

    Violence has escalated in Iraq over the past year, with 2013 recording the country's highest death toll since the worst of the country's sectarian bloodletting began to subside in 2007, according to the United Nations figures.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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