(AP) Attacks on security checkpoints in central Iraq killed nine soldiers and wounded five on Saturday, officials said.
The killings were the latest in a rising tide of violence across the country since a deadly crackdown by government forces on a Sunni protest camp in April. Security forces are often targeted by insurgents who seek to undermine the Shite-led government.
Police officials said that the deadliest of the day's attacks took please early in the morning when gunmen opened fire on an army checkpoint just south of Baghdad, killing four soldiers and wounding four others.
In an attack on a checkpoint attack near Muqdadiyah, a town 90 kilometers (60 miles) north of Baghdad, three soldiers were killed and one was wounded, police said.
In the city of Tikrit, 130 kilometers (80 miles) north of the Iraqi capital, police said gunmen opened fire on an army checkpoint, killing two soldiers.
Also, a car bomb exploded in the southern port city of Um Qasr, said Anmar al-Safi, the media official at the port. He added that the explosion caused no casualties.
In other violence reported by police officials on Saturday, attackers detonated explosives late Friday on a key oil pipeline linking Kirkuk to the Turkish port of Ceyhan near the northern town of al-Shura, disrupting crude oil exports.
Teams have started work to repair the damaged pipeline, the police said.
Medical hospital officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to journalists.