3 police, soldier among 7 killed in Iraq

A series of attacks in Iraq including an assault by militants on a police station killed seven people and wounded dozens more on Thursday, officials and doctors said.

The latest attacks come as Iraq witnesses a surge in violence that has killed more than 2,450 people already this year, including over 200 so far this month.

On Thursday, militants opened fire on a police station in Khaldiya in Anbar province, after which one suicide bomber detonated an explosives vest in the station, and another blew up an explosives-rigged car, killing two police and wounding six.

One of the attackers was shot dead during the assault.

In another attack, gunmen killed a man in the Sharqat area, northwest of Baghdad, while another man was shot dead south of the northern city of Mosul.

In Mosul itself, gunmen killed a soldier in front of his home, and a roadside bomb killed a policeman and wounded another.

In the northern town of Tuz Khurmatu, a car bomb wounded 32 people, while two other car bombs northwest of the city of Kirkuk wounded 14.

Both areas are part of a swathe of north Iraq territory that the autonomous Kurdistan region wants to incorporate over the strong objections of the federal government in Baghdad -- a dispute that diplomats and officials say is one of the most serious long-term threats to Iraq's stability.

Attacks also occurred Wednesday night, officials said.

A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-rigged vehicle near a convoy on a highway in Anbar province in west Iraq, killing two police and wounding two.

And gunmen armed with silenced weapons shot dead three women, believed to be prostitutes, at a house in the Zayouna area of Baghdad, a police colonel and an interior ministry official said.

In the same area in May seven women and five men were gunned down with silenced weapons.

Iraq has been plagued for years by violence that peaked at the height of the sectarian conflict in 2006 and 2007, and declined in subsequent years.

But the number of deaths in attacks have been on the rise since the beginning of this year.

Analysts point to widespread discontent among Iraq's minority Sunni community, and Shiite authorities' failure to address their grievances, as the main factors driving the increase in violence.