BAGHDAD, March 5 (Xinhua) -- At least 17 people were killed and 43 wounded in separate voilent attacks in central and northern Iraq on Tuesday, the police said.
Two car bombs hit police targets in the city of Kirkuk, some 250 km north of Iraqi capital of Baghdad, killing five policemen and wounding 17 people -- among them some policemen, a local police source anonymously told Xinhua.
In a separate incident, a car bomb went off near a football field at the town of Bani Saad, west of the provincial capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, killing three people and wounding 20 others, said a provincial police source, who added that five of the wounded are in critical condition.
Earlier in the day, the police reportedly said that nine people were killed and six others wounded in separate shootings in central and northern areas of the country.
Tariq Harrosh, a leader of a government-backed Awakening Council group, was shot dead by two gunmen on a motorcycle in front of his house in Abu Ghraib area in the west suburb of Baghdad, a local police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
Separately, gunmen in the early morning broke into the house of another leader of the Sunni paramilitary group in the town of al- Siniyah, some 200 km north of Baghdad, and shot dead the leader's father and mother and critically wounded him before they fled the scene, a local police source anonymously told Xinhua.
The Awakening Council group, also known as Sons of Iraq movement or Sahwa, consists of mostly anti-U.S. Sunni insurgent militant groups, who fought al-Qaida network after Sahwa's leaders became dismayed by al-Qaida's brutality and religious zealotry in the country.
Also, two people were killed and a third was wounded when two gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire at them in a village near the city of Tuz-Khurmato, some 90 km east of Tikrit city, the capital of Iraq's Salahudin province north of Baghdad, a provincial police source said.
Salahudin province is a Sunni-dominated province. Its capital Tikrit is the hometown of former President Saddam Hussein.
Meanwhile, gunmen in their car opened fire at a convoy of vehicles carrying the mayor of the city of al-Qayyara, some 50 km south of Mosul, the capital city of Nineveh province, while travelling on a main road south of his city, a Nineveh provincial police source told Xinhua, adding that the mayor was seriously wounded along with two of his bodyguards.
Nineveh province has long been a stronghold for insurgent groups, including al-Qaida militants. Its capital city of Mosul, some 400 km north of Baghdad, is one of the country's most restive cities.
In Baghdad, gunmen attacked a real estate office in Sabie al- Bour area in northern the capital, killing two people and wounding another, an Interior Ministry source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
In addition, two civilians were shot dead in two attacks by gunmen using silenced weapons in al-Saidiyah district in southern Baghdad, the source said.
Violence is still common in Iraqi cities despite the dramatic decrease since its peak in 2006 and 2007, when the country was engulfed in sectarian killings.