Car bomb attacks and gunmen have killed more than seven people in the latest round of violence in Iraq.
Car bomb attacks and gunmen have killed more than seven people in the latest round of violence in Iraq

Gun attacks and a bombing have killed at least seven more people in Iraq.

Armed gunmen opened fire at a checkpoint manned by "Sawha", a government-backed Sunni militia, killing two and wounding two in the town of Buhriz, about 60km (35 miles) northeast of Baghdad, police said.

Further north, gunmen attacked a busy park in the town of Balad, killing two and wounding three, according to Reuters.

To the south of the capital, three anti-terrorism squad officers were killed and nine wounded by a roadside bomb in the town of Mahaweel, 60km (35 miles) from Baghdad.

The United States condemned the wave of car bombings which police and medical sources say killed nearly 80 people across the country, aimed mainly at Shi'ite Muslims celebrating the end of Ramadan.

US officials called those who had attacked civilians during Eid al-Fitr festivities "enemies of Islam".

The renewed violence has raised fears that Iraq could relapse into the sectarian bloodbath of 2006-2007 when tens of thousands were killed.

The US State Department said Saturday's attacks bore the hallmarks of al-Qaida's Iraqi (AQI) branch. There is a $10 million reward for information leading to the killing or capture of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the AQI leader.

"The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the cowardly attacks today in Baghdad," the State Department said. "The terrorists who committed these acts are enemies of Islam and a shared enemy of the United States, Iraq, and the international community."

It said the US would work closely with the Iraqi government to confront al-Qaida and discuss the matter during a visit of Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari next week to Washington.

Last month al-Qaida claimed responsibility for simultaneous raids on two Iraqi prisons and said more than 500 inmates had escaped in the operation.

This has been one of the deadliest Ramadan months in years, with bomb attacks killing hundreds. Explosions in Baghdad last week killed 50. More than 1,000 Iraqis were killed in July, the highest monthly death toll since 2008, according to the United Nations.

Car Bomb Attacks Kill Dozens Across Iraq