(CNN) -- A suicide bomber detonated his explosive-laden vehicle at an Iraqi army checkpoint in eastern Mosul Friday afternoon, killing four soldiers and wounding eight other people, police officials in the city said.
The bomber rammed the vehicle into the checkpoint before the explosives detonated, police said.
Five soldiers were among the wounded, according to police.
Iraq has been beset with political and sectarian violence for months, often pitting Sunnis -- a minority in Iraq -- against Shiite Muslims, who came to dominate the government after Saddam Hussein was overthrown in 2003.
Mosul is a predominantly Sunni city located in Nineveh province, about 420 kilometers (260 miles) north of Iraq's capital, Baghdad. It is considered one of the most dangerous cities in Iraq, with al Qaeda-linked groups active there.
The United Nations said last year was the deadliest in Iraq since 2008, with more than 8,800 people killed. Most were civilians.