At least 22 killed in Iraq attacks
At least 22 people, including three anti-government protesters, were killed Friday in attacks in Iraq, medics and witnesses said, DPA reported.
Three civilians died when security forces fired at demonstrators who were demanding the release of a detained protester in the northern city of Mosul, said witnesses. Seven others were injured.
Tens of thousands of Sunnis have been demonstrating for the third straight month against Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, demanding a repeal of laws that they claim target the Sunni minority.
Al-Maliki has warned that the crisis could plunge Iraq into a sectarian conflict.
Earlier Friday, 19 people were killed in a series of attacks targeting mainly security personnel.
Two people died and seven were wounded in bombings in the province of Salah al-Din, some 170 kilometres north of the capital Baghdad.
In the Sunni-dominated city of Tikrit, five pro-government militiamen and four gunmen were killed when clashes broke out between the two sides. The armed group opened fire on a checkpoint manned by Sahwa fighters and burnt their vehicle.
Sahwa is made up of former Sunni insurgents now helping the government restore order and fight al-Qaeda.
Five more Sahwa members were killed in a similar attack in the city of Hilla, some 100 kilometres away from Baghdad.
In Mosul, gunmen killed an army officer, his wife and child in an attack on their home.
Iraq has seen near-daily attacks since US troops withdrew in December 2011, raising fears of a return to the sectarian tensions that drove the country close to civil war in 2006 and 2007.