Gunmen attacked a police checkpoint south of Mosul in the northern Iraqi province of Nineveh on Wednesday, killing at least five policemen and a civilian, a provincial police source said.
"Unknown gunmen opened fire early in the morning at a police checkpoint in the Hamam al-Alil area, 20 kms south of Mosul, and traded fire with the policemen, killing five of them," the source told on condition of anonymity.
A civilian was also killed after being caught in the crossfire while passing the checkpoint, he said.
The attackers fled the scene after the clashes.
Nineveh province, including its capital Mosul, some 400 kms north of Baghdad, has been a hotbed of insurgency and sectarian violence since the US-led invasion in 2003.