KIRKUK, Iraq: Violence in Iraq killed 15 people on Wednesday, including 12 security force personnel and gunmen who died in attacks apparently launched in revenge for deadly clashes at a protest, officials said.
Fighting between security forces and protesters near the northern town of Hawijah left 27 people dead on Tuesday, and sparked a wave of revenge attacks in which a further 27 people were killed that day.
The revenge attacks continued on Wednesday, leaving nine security forces members and three gunmen dead.
In the deadliest fighting, gunmen killed five soldiers and wounded five more in the Suleiman Bek, area north of Baghdad, a high-ranking army officer and an administrative official said.
Gunmen also attacked a Sahwa anti-Qaeda militia checkpoint in Khales, northeast of Baghdad, killing four of the militiamen and wounding a fifth, a police lieutenant colonel and a doctor said.
And gunmen wounded a policeman in the northern city of Mosul, while a soldier was wounded in another shooting to its south, police and a doctor said.
Three of the gunmen were killed in the Mosul attack.
Three people were also killed in apparently-unrelated violence.
A car bomb against a police patrol killed two police and a civilian and wounded at least seven other people in Tarmiyah, north of Baghdad, an interior ministry official and a medical source said.
And in Fallujah, west of Baghdad, a mortar attack targeting the home of a provincial council member wounded a man and two children, although the politician was unharmed, a police captain and a doctor said.
Protesters have taken to the streets in Sunni-majority areas for more than four months, calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and decrying the alleged targeting of their minority community by the Shiite-led authorities.
The wave of violence that began on Tuesday is the deadliest to date linked to the protests.
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