9 die in swathe of Iraq violence

FALLUJAH; Nine people were killed, including six soldiers and two policemen, in a swathe of bombings and shootings across Iraq on Saturday, ministry and security officials said.

In the deadliest attack, four soldiers died and 10 others were wounded when their patrol struck a roadside bomb at around noon (0900 GMT) near a petrol station northeast of Fallujah, 50 kilometres (30 miles) west of Baghdad, according to an official from the interior ministry who declined to be named.

In the oil-rich and ethnically-mixed northern province of Kirkuk, a roadside bomb in the town of Hawijaa killed two soldiers who were on a military patrol.

Two civilians were also injured in the bombing, according to an army officer in the province.

The restive northern city of Mosul saw three attacks which left two policemen and a civilian dead.

In a market in the centre of the city, 370 kilometres (230 miles) north of Baghdad, a policeman was killed by gunmen who fled the scene on foot. Two civilians were injured in the shooting, police said.

Also in central Mosul, a roadside bomb targeting a police patrol killed one policeman and wounded two civilians.

In another attack in the city centre, gunmen shot dead a civilian outside his home. Police said the reasons behind the attack were not immediately clear.

Though violence has dropped dramatically across the country since a year ago, attacks in Mosul and Baghdad remain common.

Violent deaths in Iraq dropped by more than half in September from the previous month, with 203 people killed. That was the lowest monthly toll since May.