At least 15 people were killed in a series of bomb blasts across Iraq on Wednesday, police and medics said, following a sharp increase in violence that has prompted warnings of a full-blown conflict.
A suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest detonated himself in the midst of a group of government-backed fighters who were collecting their salaries east of the city of Falluja, killing six, police sources said.
In Baiji, 180 kilometers north of Baghdad, police said a roadside bomb killed four policemen. A car bomb in north-eastern Baghdad killed at least three people and wounded 14, police and hospital sources said. Another car bomb north of the city of Ramadi killed two policemen and wounded another 10.
Violence in Iraq has increased as the conflict in neighboring Syria intensified. Tensions are at their highest in Iraq since US troops pulled out more than a year ago.
Violence is still well below its height in 2006-07, but provisional figures from rights group Iraq Body Count indicate the number of violent deaths in April was the highest monthly toll since 2009.