Iraq officials say attackers kill 8 members of security forces in 2 attacks

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Iraqi authorities say attackers have killed eight members of the security forces, including five anti-al-Qaida militiamen, amid rising sectarian violence in the country.

Police said that the first attack occurred early Saturday when gunmen opened fire on a checkpoint manned by pro-government Sunni fighters near the city of Tikrit.

In western Iraq, three army intelligence soldiers riding a vehicle were stopped by gunmen near a protest site in Ramadi. In the gun battle that ensued, the soldiers were killed and two gunmen were wounded.

Hospital officials confirmed the casualties. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to the media.

The current wave of violence in Iraq has left more than 170 people dead over the past five days.