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Clashes kill nine police in north Iraq

An Iraqi policeman patrols in the eastern Baghdad area of Nahrawan, on March 30, 2011
An Iraqi policeman patrols in the eastern Baghdad area of Nahrawan after a deadly shootout with Sunni gunmen on March 30, 2011. At least nine police are killed during clashes in northern Iraq while five civilians die as a car bomb targets worshippers near

Clashes in northern Iraq killed nine police and four gunmen on Friday, while a car bomb targeting worshippers near a Sunni mosque left at least six people dead, officials said.

Mortar rounds were fired at checkpoints in the fierce fighting that also left another seven police wounded, police and a doctor said.

In Rashidiyah, north of Baghdad, the car bomb exploded as worshippers left Friday prayers at Al-Ghufran mosque, killing at least five people and wounding 30, officials said.

A roadside bomb killed a police captain in Baiji, north of the capital.

And at Al-Amil in south Baghdad, a magnetic "sticky bomb" blast wounded a police captain, while a roadside explosion wounded three more police in Taji, north of the capital, sources said.

The violence came a day after the United Nations said April was the deadliest month for Iraq in almost five years.

While violence has fallen from its peak at the height of the sectarian conflict in Iraq in 2006 and 2007, attacks remain common.

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