(CNN) -- At least 12 people were killed and 45 others were wounded Monday in northern Iraq when a suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest blew himself up inside a popular coffee shop, police said.
The incident occurred in the Salaheddin province town of Balad, about 55 miles north of Baghdad. And it's the latest attack in a country beset with sectarian and political violence.
July was the deadliest month in Iraq in the last five years since the peak of sectarian violence in 2006 and 2007. According to the United Nations, 1,057 Iraqis were killed and another 2,326 were wounded in acts of terrorism and violence last month.