11 killed in attacks north of Baghdad
updated 10:34 AM EDT, Sat June 30, 2012
- Four others also wounded Friday by gunmen at a checkpoint in Diyala province
- June has been more violent than April or May; nearly 200 people have been killed this month
- In May, the number was 132
- Sectarian attacks peaked between 2005 and 2007
Baghdad (CNN) -- Four Awakening Council members were killed and four others were wounded Friday when gunmen attacked a checkpoint in Diyala province, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.
The checkpoint was manned by members of the local Awakening Council in the town of Khan Bani Saad, according to police.
The councils, also known as Sons of Iraq, are composed predominantly of Sunni Arab fighters who turned on Iraq's al Qaeda militants in late 2006.
In another attack, seven people were killed and 45 others wounded when three explosions hit central Balad on Friday afternoon, police officials said.
The first attack was a suicide bomber who detonated his explosive vest in a busy outdoor market in the town of Balad north of Baghdad.
A few minutes later, two motorcycles rigged with explosives exploded near government offices, including a post office and a police station.
Police said most of the victims were from the suicide attack in an outdoor market near a Shiite Shrine
Balad is a predominately Shiite town in Salaheddin province.
Police officials in Baghdad said they believe al-Qaeda in Iraq is behind Balad attacks as they have been trying to agitate the sectarian tension between Arab Muslims Sunni and Shiite.
The officials told CNN on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to media.
In June, nearly 200 people were killed, according to CNN estimates.
In May, 132 people were killed. And 126 died in April, according to figures released by Iraq's Interior Ministry.
Overall, violence in Iraq has dropped since sectarian attacks peaked between 2005 and 2007, but bombings and shootings are still common.
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 2:18 AM EST, Fri February 8, 2013
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.