Iraqi security forces have killed nine members of the al-Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq network and captured 10 others in an operation in the northern province of Salahuddin.
A provincial police official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Xinhua that 12 policemen, including a brigade, sustained injuries in the Monday operation.
Meanwhile, al-Qaeda in Iraq has claimed responsibility for the assassination of a lawmaker, who had played a significant role in the fight against the terrorist group in western Iraq.
The Islamic State of Iraq said in a statement on Monday that its members killed Ifan Saadoun al-Issawi last week as he toured a construction site in the western al-Anbar province.
Posing as a worker, the attacker hugged Issawi before detonating an explosive vest, killing them both on the spot.
The Iraqi parliamentarian was one of the architects of the pro-government Sahwa (Awakening) forces that fought al-Qaeda between 2006 and 2008.
Al-Qaeda in Iraq is a shadowy group that was once allegedly led by Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Zarqawi was reportedly killed in June 2006.
The group has been blamed for some of the deadliest terrorist attacks in Iraq since the US-led invasion of the country in March 2003.