Deadly violence kills 16 across Iraq
At least 16 people, including security forces, have been killed in a series of bomb blasts and shootings in northern Iraqi cities, local officials said.
Police officials said on Saturday that the deadliest attack took place in the town of Dujail, north of the capital, Baghdad, after a bomber hit his explosive-laden car to a checkpoint. Six security forces and a civilian were killed and 15 others injured.
Four people were also killed and 17 others wounded in a bomb explosion in an outdoor market in Tarmiyah town, also north of Baghdad, police said.
In the town of Dawr, 130km north of the capital, a bomb blast killed three pro-government Sunni fighters and injured two others.
Meanwhile, separate shootings in the northern province of Nineveh claimed the lives of two people.
The attacks came as Iraqi forces continue their offensive against al-Qaeda-linked militants in the western province of Anbar.
Earlier on Saturday, a shelling attack left 11 people dead and wounded 20 in the city of Fallujah.
Anbar Province plunged into violence in December 2013 when the army removed an anti-government protest camp in the provincial capital, Ramadi. Authorities said the camp was used as “headquarters for the leadership of al-Qaeda.”
Militants from the al-Qaeda group, the so-called Islamic state of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), subsequently took control of Fallujah and parts of Ramadi.
Iraqi troops, backed by local tribesmen, have since been fighting al-Qaeda-affiliated militants in the region.
The violence has inflicted severe damage on infrastructure, and forced nearly 400,000 people to flee their homes.
Iraq is currently witnessing a wave of violence unprecedented in recent years. Based on official figures, over 1,000 people, mostly civilians, lost their lives in violent attacks across Iraq in April.