BAGHDAD – A string of insurgent attacks including three car bombs in an ethnically divided northern city killed eight people across Iraq on Tuesday, police said.
Brig. Gen. Sarhad Qadir, police commander of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, said back-to-back detonations of a parked car bomb and a roadside bomb in a parking lot near the provincial council building killed one civilian and injured 15.
Another parked car bomb went off in a residential area in the same city and wounded five civilians, he added.
A third car bomb struck a passing police patrol near Kirkuk, killing two policemen and wounding three others, according to Qadir.
Kirkuk, 180 miles (290 kilometers) north of Baghdad, is home to a combustible mix of Kurds, Sunni Arabs and Turkomen who all claim rights to the city.
Earlier, gunmen in a speeding car attacked an Iraqi army check point in the city of Tuz Khormato outside Kirkuk, killing two soldiers and injuring two others, Qadir said. Tuz Khormato is located 130 miles (210 kilometers) north of Baghdad.
Meanwhile, police said gunmen fatally shot two brothers who are members of the anti-al-Qaida group known as Sahwa, after breaking into their house in Samarra, 95 kilometers (60 miles) north of Baghdad.
The Sahwa are Sunni Arabs who joined forces with U.S. military to fight al-Qaida at the highest of Iraq's insurgency. They have since been regularly targeted by Sunni insurgents who see them as traitors.
In Baghdad, gunmen staged a drive-by shooting against a civilian car in a southern suburb, killing an army officer and wounding three others, according to police. A medical official confirmed the causalities.
All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information.
The attacks came as the U.N. envoy on Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, arrived in Baghdad for talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other officials to discuss the neighboring country's worsening civil war. Brahimi is touring the region in an attempt to help resolve the Syrian crisis.
Violence is down from 2006-2008 when Iraq seemed close to civil war, but deadly attacks still take place almost daily.
Associated Press writer Sameer N. Yacoub contributed to this report