Attacks killed 10 people around Iraq on Friday, including the 8-year-old daughter of an imam who preached against violence and four police officers ambushed in Baghdad, officials said.
The string of bombings and shootings underlined the security concerns Iraq still faces as American troops prepare to leave the country by the end of this year. Iraq's prime minister maintains the country is able to provide for its own internal security, but US officials say Iraq must decide soon whether to ask any of the remaining American forces to stay past their Dec. 31 departure date.
In Baghdad, a bomb went off in a predominantly Shiite neighborhood in southeastern Baghdad, killing three police commandos and one civilian and wounding 24 policemen and five civilians, said police and medical officials. As police arrived on the scene to investigate, a second bomb exploded.
Insurgents often use such staggered blasts to lure in security and medical personnel who arrive on the scene to help and then fall victim to the subsequent blast.
In the mixed Sunni-Shiite province of Diyala, gunmen stormed the home of the imam in a small village 30 miles (50 kilometers) northeast of the provincial capital of Baqouba on Friday morning, police and medical officials said.
The imam, his wife and their 8-year-old daughter were killed. Police said the imam had preached against sectarian violence.
In the town of Buhriz, a former Saddam Hussein stronghold about 35 miles (60 kilometers) north of Baghdad, gunmen broke into a house and shot and killed three brothers who worked in an anti-al-Qaida militia.
All the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
Diyala province has been a hotbed of the insurgency and at one point in 2006 was proposed as the future capital of al-
Qaida's Islamic State of Iraq. Since then, the situation has calmed considerably but a volatile ethnic mix of Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds and Turkomen help make it one of the least stable provinces in the country.