Seven killed in Iraq violence

Violence killed seven people on Wednesday, including three policemen and a young girl, officials said, as authorities struggle to contain the worst violence to hit Iraq since 2008.

The attacks are the latest in a wave of unrest that has made the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan the bloodiest in years, with more than 800 people killed nationwide.

Militants have struck targets ranging from cafes where Iraqis gather after breaking their daily Ramadan fast to mosques where extended evening prayers are held during Ramadan.

In Wednesday's deadliest attack, a bomb killed three policemen and wounded a fourth near Dhuluiyah, north of Baghdad.

Another bomb exploded near a police patrol in the northern city of Mosul, killing a young girl, while police killed two militants attempting to plant a bomb.

And in the Mussayib area, south of Baghdad, a magnetic "sticky bomb" on a bus killed one person and wounded two.

Other attacks, including a car bomb that exploded near a Kurdish political party office in the northern city of Kirkuk, wounded dozens more.

Violence has markedly increased this year, especially since an April 23 security operation at a Sunni Arab anti-government protest site that sparked clashes in which dozens died.

Protests erupted in Sunni-majority areas in late 2012, amid widespread discontent among Sunnis, who accuse the Shiite-led government of marginalising and targeting them.

Analysts say Sunni anger is the main cause of the spike in violence this year.

In addition to security problems, the government in Baghdad is also failing to provide adequate basic services such as electricity and clean water, and corruption is widespread.

Political squabbling has paralysed the government, which has passed almost no major legislation in years.