Middle East

Iraq shooting: Nine policemen killed near Mosul


A number of armed men have opened fire on a police station in northern Iraq, killing nine police officers.

Two other policemen were wounded in the assault, which began at 04:30 GMT, 60km (37 miles) south of the city of Mosul.

Police fired back but it is not clear whether any attackers were hurt. A roadside bomb targeted emergency personnel responding to the incident.

On Tuesday 29 people were killed across Iraq. Thousands have died this year as the country undergoes a wave of unrest.

In the latest attack, gunmen shot at a checkpoint from several directions, police said. An ambulance that rushed to the scene was hit by a bomb that had been planted on the road beforehand, wounding the driver and a nurse.

The attack on the police station came as gunmen shot dead a man in Baquba, a city north of Baghdad.

Correspondents say the province of Nineveh and its capital, Mosul, have become a rallying point for insurgents from the Sunni minority during the recent upsurge in violence.

Image caption An Iraqi policeman checks documents in Baghdad as part of increased security measures after a prison break left dozens dead on Monday.

On Monday dozens of people were killed when gunmen stormed two prisons in Baghdad. Hundreds of inmates escaped.

One security official told the Reuters news agency that some of the escaped inmates were heading to Syria to join the ranks of the mainly Sunni rebels in the country's civil war.