Iraq violence kills 14

Violence that included attacks on security forces and their families killed 14 people in Iraq on Saturday, officials said.

In Tarmiyah, north of Baghdad, militants blew up four houses belonging to police and soldiers as people slept inside, killing four including a soldier, and wounding 15.

To the southeast, a roadside bomb in a market killed one person and wounded eight, while a magnetic "sticky bomb" on a police vehicle killed a policeman and wounded another.

In Baghdad itself, another "sticky bomb" killed an electricity ministry employee, and two bombs exploded near a cafe, killing at least one person and wounding six.

A roadside bomb also killed a civilian in Baiji, north of the capital, and two gunmen and a soldier were killed when militants attacked a checkpoint near the town.

Afterwards, authorities announced a curfew in the area.

Gunmen also attacked a local council member's convoy near Baquba, north of Baghdad, killing one of his guards and wounding two, while militants also shot dead a primary school teacher near the city.

Iraq is witnessing its worst violence since 2008, when the country was just emerging from a brutal sectarian conflict that killed tens of thousands of people.

There are persistent fears, bolstered by a spate of sectarian attacks this year, that the country is slipping back towards all-out Sunni-Shiite conflict.

Militants, including those linked to Al-Qaeda, frequently attack Iraqi security forces and other government employees.

The latest violence brings the death toll to more than 740 people in September and upwards of 4,550 this year, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources.