Suicide bombings and other attacks across Iraq killed at least 19 people and wounded 36 on Monday, officials said, the latest in an uptick in violence as the country counts down to crucial parliament elections later this month.
In one suicide attack, the bomber drove his explosives-laden car into a police checkpoint in the town of Suwayrah, killing 12 people- five policemen and seven civilians.
A police officer said the explosion in Suwayrah, located about 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of Baghdad, also wounded 19 people.
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In the nearby town of Madain, about 20 kilometers (14 miles) southeast of Baghdad, another suicide car bomber struck an army checkpoint, killing three soldiers and two civilians, a second police officer said. Twelve other people were wounded in that attack, he said.
An Iraqi soldier was killed and three were wounded when a roadside bomb struck their patrol in the northern town of Mishahda, 30 kilometers (20 miles) north of Baghdad, a police officer said. And in the town of Latifiyah, about 30 kilometers (20 miles) south of Baghdad, gunmen in speeding car went on a shooting spree, killing one civilian and wounding two, a police officer said.
Four medical officials confirmed the causality figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.
Since last year, Iraq has been experiencing a surge in violence to levels unseen since 2008.
The recent uptick has become the Shiite-led government’s most serious challenge as the nation prepares to hold the national parliamentary elections on April 30, the first voting in Iraq since the US army withdrawal in 2011.