BAGHDAD, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- A total of 15 Iraqis were killed and 11 wounded in a series of attacks by gunmen on security checkpoints in central Iraq on Thursday, the police said.
Gunmen attacked a police checkpoint in the early morning hours in Abu Ghraib area, some 20 km west of Baghdad, and killed four policemen, a local police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
Afterwards, the attackers planted three bombs at the scene of the first attack and blew them up when a reinforcement police force arrived, killing a fifth policeman and wounding three others, the source said.
In a separate incident, gunmen opened fire on a police checkpoint in the city of Haditha, some 200 km west of Baghdad, prompting the policemen to exchange fire with them, killing one of the attackers and wounding two policemen, the source added.
In Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, gunmen attacked an Iraqi army checkpoint in the town of Kan'an near the provincial capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, killing one soldier and wounding two others, a provincial police source anonymously told Xinhua.
In a separate incident, a member of a government-backed Awakening Council group was killed and three others injured when gunmen attacked their checkpoint in a village located some 35 km east of Baquba, the source said.
The Awakening Council group, or Sahwa in Arabic, consists of armed groups, including some powerful anti-U.S. Sunni insurgent groups which fought al-Qaida militants in the Sunni Arab areas after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
Also in the province, Iraqi security forces carried out a search operation in a rural area near Baquba and arrested six suspects believed to be members of an al-Qaida cell, the source added.
Earlier in the day, a police source from Iraq's Salahudin province told Xinhua that insurgents attacked security checkpoints in the province, killing four policemen and three Sahwa members and wounding a soldier.
The province, located in northern-central Iraq, is a Sunni- dominated province. Its capital city Tikrit, some 170 km north of Baghdad, is the hometown of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
Violence is still common in the Iraqi cities despite a dramatic decrease since its peak in 2006 and 2007, when the country was engulfed in sectarian killings.