Iraqi army tries to retake town leaving 17 dead
A car bomb attack which exploded in northern Baghdad on Sunday left four people dead while gunmen killed five others at a police checkpoint in Taza, a town 210 kilometer north of the capital.
Police sources said that at least two policemen lost their lives when gunmen fired on their patrol in the town of Shirqat, 300 kilometers north of Baghdad.
In other assaults, two mortar rounds landed on a house, killing a civilian, in Jurf al-Sakhar, 60 kilometers south of Baghdad.
Gunmen using silenced weapons killed a man and his son near their home in central Hilla, south of Baghdad. Elsewhere, in the town of Muqdadiya, 80 kilometers northeast of Baghdad, two government-backed militiamen were killed in a drive-by shooting.
Meanwhile, one person was killed in a bomb attack in the al-Warrar area west of Anbar's provincial capital Ramadi.
The latest incidents of violence came at a time when Iraqi troops, backed by local Sunni tribesmen, are fighting al-Qaeda-affiliated militants in the country’s western regions, including Anbar Province.
Violence erupted in Anbar late December, when security forces dismantled a protest camp which the government said was used by militants for launching terrorist attacks.
Official figures say some 1,013 people were killed in January alone, making it the deadliest month in Iraq since April 2008.