Unidentified gunmen have killed seven police officers, including a captain, in an attack at a security checkpoint north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, according to security and hospital sources.
The deadly incident took place on Tuesday on a highway north of the city of Samarra, the sources said.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but police officials say the main suspects are militants linked to al-Qaeda.
On January 5, at least 20 people were killed and dozens more injured in a series of bombings in Baghdad.
On January 2, a bomber detonated an explosives-laden car near the Iraqi city of Baqubah, killing 19 people and injuring 37 others.
Iraq’s Interior Ministry has said that militants have launched an open war in Iraq and they want to push the Middle Eastern country into chaos.
“The country is currently facing an open war from bloodthirsty sectarian forces that aim to plunge the country into chaos,” the Interior Ministry said in a statement issued on July 30, 2013.
According to the United Nations, at least 8,000 people lost their lives in Iraq in 2013.