Battles, bombs kill 16 in northern Iraq's Mosul, police say

How dangerous is Iraq now?
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Story highlights

  • Iraqi army killed 10 al Qaeda-linked militants in southern Mosul, federal police official says
  • Roadside bombs killed three police officers elsewhere in the city, police say
  • Soldiers killed two gunmen who tried to attack an army checkpoint, according to police
  • Gunmen killed a civilian driver, police say

Armed confrontations and roadside bombs made for a bloody day in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Wednesday, claiming the lives of at least 16 people -- including militants who died in a battle with the Iraqi army, police in Mosul said.

The army killed 10 members of the al Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and detained 16 others in a security operation in southern Mosul, according to Gen. Mehdi al-Garawi, commander of federal police in predominantly Sunni Muslim Nineveh province.

In western Mosul, three police officers were killed and six others were wounded when several roadside bombs exploded near police patrols, police officials said.

Also in western Mosul, gunmen fatally shot a civilian while he was driving a car Wednesday, Mosul police said.

And in eastern Mosul, Iraqi soldiers killed two gunmen who tried to attack an army checkpoint, police in the city said.

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Iraq has been engulfed in violence for many months. The United Nations said 2013 was the deadliest year in Iraq since 2008, with almost 8,000 people killed in violence, most of them civilians.

Fears of all-out sectarian war have increased since fighting broke out recently to the west of Baghdad in Anbar province, where al Qaeda-backed militants and Iraq's security forces have been battling for control of Falluja and Ramadi.

Mosul, the capital of Nineveh province, is about 400 kilometers (250 miles) north of Baghdad.

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