A series of attacks in Iraq on Sunday killed 10 people, including a Sunni candidate running in the upcoming provincial elections.

The attacks against security forces and a provincial election candidate came as the country is preparing for the first vote since the U.S. withdrawal. In the April 20 elections, Iraqis are to choose provincial governing councils.

The most serious attack came at night near the northern city of Mosul, when a booby-trapped body exploded among a group of policemen, who were trying to inspect the body that was left in the street. Police said that five policemen were killed.

Hours earlier, police said that Najam Saeed, a Sunni candidate in the provincial elections, was killed when a roadside bomb hit his convoy near Muqadiyah town, 90 kilometers (55 miles) north of Baghdad. The blast was followed by shooting between gunmen and the candidate's bodyguards.

Two of Saeed's brothers were killed, and the candidate's son and three bodyguards were wounded in the attack.

At least 13 other candidates have been killed in previous attacks ahead of the election.

In the western city of Fallujah, police said a roadside bomb hit a police patrol in the western city of Fallujah, killing two security officers.

Medics in a nearby hospital confirmed the casualties.

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters.

Violence has ebbed in Iraq since the peak of Sunni-Shiite fighting that pushed the country to the brink of civil war in 2006 and 2007, but insurgent attacks are still frequent in attempts to undermine the Shiite-led government.