Attacks in central Iraq left five security members dead and an alleged Al-Qaeda fighter killed two prison guards Thursday, amid a recent spike in unrest that has broken a relative calm in Baghdad.
The violence comes just days after a suicide car bomb outside Iraq's Shiite religious foundation's headquarters in Baghdad killed 25 people, and during a protracted political crisis that has raised sectarian tensions.
In the deadliest attack, at least two anti-Qaeda militiamen were killed and one was wounded when gunmen opened fire on their checkpoint in the town of Tarmiyah, 45 kilometres (30 miles) north of the capital, an interior ministry official and a medical source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
A roadside bomb, meanwhile, detonated near an army patrol in the town of Mashaada, 30 kilometres (18 miles) north of Baghdad, killing one soldier and wounding three others, according to an army officer and a medic.
And in Abu Ghraib, just west of the capital, a roadside bomb blew up near an army checkpoint, killing one soldier and wounding three others, the interior ministry and medical officials said.
In Baghdad, police Lieutenant Colonel Nabil Hadi was shot dead by gunmen in the Jihad neighbourhood, in the capital's west, the interior ministry official said.
Thursday's attacks were the latest in a recent spike in violence. Along with Monday's suicide car bombing at the Shiite religious foundation in Baghdad, a series of blasts in the capital killed 17 people on May 31.
Also on Thursday, an alleged Al-Qaeda fighter being transferred out of a Baghdad prison seized a guard's gun and killed two guards and wounded another before shooting himself.
The prisoner was being taken to court to face trial from Tasfirat prison in the centre of the capital. A small riot broke out at the facility two days ago before being put down without any fatalities.
On Thursday the inmate managed to grab a weapon from a nearby guard and opened fire, a justice ministry official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The prisoner killed two security force members -- a police major and a prison guard -- and wounded one other before taking his own life, the official added.
An interior ministry official and a medical source confirmed the incident and the toll.
The incident was reminiscent of a similar, but deadlier, prison shooting in May 2011, when an accused Al-Qaeda leader overpowered a policeman and sparked a jail mutiny that led to the deaths of six Iraqi police and 11 inmates.
Violence in Iraq has declined dramatically since its peak in 2006-2007, but attacks remain common, especially in Baghdad and its surrounding areas. A total of 132 Iraqis were killed in violence in May, according to official figures.