Drive-by shootings in Iraq kill 5 security troops

Unknown attackers killed five members of Iraq's security forces in three drive-by shootings in Baghdad on Friday, police and health officials said as militants seek to undermine government efforts to maintain security.

The first attack took place at dawn, when gunmen in speeding cars opened fire at an army checkpoint just outside Baghdad's western suburb of Abu Ghraib, killing three soldiers and wounding five, two police officers said.

Unknown attackers targeted a joint patrol of Iraqi police and military in a nearby neighborhood minutes later, they added. That attack killed a policeman and injured four others.

In Baghdad's northern al-Waziriyah area after noon, drive-by shooters with silenced pistols attacked a police patrol, killing a policeman and injuring two others, another police officer said.

Two health officials in nearby hospitals confirmed the causalities. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to talk to the media.

The attacks came a day after bombings and drive-by shootings killed 14 people including five members of security forces in different areas in Iraq.

Although violence is down from the days when the country seemed close to civil war in 2006-2008, deadly attacks still happen every day. A horrifying wave of violence last week left at least 115 people killed in Iraq's bloodiest day in more than two years.