Bombing, ambush of police checkpoint kill 5 in western Iraq

Iraqi authorities say a bombing and an ambush of a police checkpoint have killed five people west of Baghdad.

Police officials say the deadlier attack took place Monday evening when a bomb exploded in a commercial street in the Abu Ghraib area just outside the capital, killing three people and wounding five others.

One hour later, two policemen were killed when gunmen sprayed with bullets a security checkpoint in the former al-Qaida strong-hold city of Fallujah, 65 kilometers (40 miles) from Baghdad.

Two medical officials confirmed the casualty figures. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to media.

Violence has spiked in Iraq during the past months following a deadly security crackdown on a Sunni protest camp in the northern town of Hawijah.