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Attacks kill seven Iraq security personnel

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AFP – Attacks in Iraq, including a suicide bombing near the Anbar provincial council headquarters, killed seven soldiers and police on Tuesday, officials said.

In Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-rigged vehicle near the provincial council headquarters, killing three soldiers and wounding at least four.

Anti-government fighters have occupied shifting areas of Ramadi since early January, and also control all of the city of Fallujah to its east – a major security challenge for the government.

And gunmen attacked a police checkpoint in a village west of Baiji, a town north of the Baghdad, killing four police and wounding three.

The attacks came a day after country-wide violence killed 35 people.

Iraq has been hit by a year-long surge in violence that has reached levels not seen since 2008, driven by widespread discontent among the Sunni Arab minority and the civil war in neighbouring Syria.

More than 650 people have been killed in attacks and clashes since the beginning of the month, and over 1,600 since 1 January,  according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources.

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