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Attacks kill 6 in Iraq

By Mohammed Tawfeeq, CNN
  • Security forces were targeted
  • One incident occurred in Kubessa and the other in Baghdad
  • The death toll in Iraq rose from February to March

Baghdad (CNN) -- Six Iraqi security forces were killed and eight others were wounded in two separate attacks on police and army on Saturday morning, police and health officials tell CNN.

One attack was in Kubessa, about 160 kilometers west of the Anbar provincial capital of Ramadi.

Gunmen attacked a joint checkpoint of Iraqi army and police with small arms fire on Saturday early morning. Four Iraqi soldiers and a police officer were killed and four soldiers and a police officer were wounded.

In Baghdad, an Iraqi soldier was killed and four people, including three soldiers, were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near an army patrol.

Overall violence in Iraq has dropped dramatically since the peak of the sectarian violence between 2005 and 2007 but car bombs, suicides bombers, and assassinations still occur.

Government figures show the death toll in Iraqi violence has been rising. In March, 247 Iraqis were killed and in February, 197 people died.

At least three Iraqi soldiers were killed Friday in a suicide bombing in the Anbar city of Falluja. In Tikrit, 57 people were killed and 125 others were wounded when gunmen stormed the provincial council building.

There has been unrest in Iraq over corruption, lack of basic services, unemployment and restriction on freedom of expression -- grievances now being aired in other countries across the Arab world.

Iraqi security forces from the army and police force increased their presence in Baghdad and in a number of the provinces because of planned protests.

Nearly 1,500 Kurdish demonstrators had gathered in the central square of the Iraqi city of Sulaimaniya on Friday to continue their demands for political reforms and to protest corruption, a lack of basic services and unemployment, security officials said.

But the peaceful protest turned violence.

Security officials said angry protesters stormed shops, threw stones at Kurdish riot police and wielded sticks when police pushed back. At least 50 people were wounded, including 37 members of the riot police, police and health officials in Sulaimaniya said.