At least 17 people, including three children, died Wednesday in violence in Iraq, an official with the Interior Ministry told Efe.

The three children died when a bomb exploded near the Al Suedi River, northeast of the city of Baqubah, in an attack that wounded five other children.

In the same area, armed men opened fire on the vehicle transporting Sheikh Ali Majid al-Yumaili on a highway near the town of Al Yamila.

The sheikh and his wife were killed in the attack, while one of his sons and another relative were wounded.

In other areas near Baqubah, one civilian died and another was wounded when a bomb placed in their car exploded, and a peasant was gunned down by armed men.

Three police officers and an armed man died in an attack by a group of gunmen on the home of a police officer in the Al Sharqat area, 120 kilometers (about 75 miles) north of Tikrit.

Meanwhile, a roadside bomb exploded when an army patrol was passing by, killing two soldiers west of Ramadi.

In a similar incident, one soldier died and another was seriously wounded by a roadside bomb while on patrol in the northern city of Mosul.

Also, security forces managed to repel an attack by an armed group against a checkpoint near the city of Fallujah and killed three of the attackers.

The U.N. representative in Iraq, Martin Kobler, said Tuesday that the past four months have been the country's bloodiest in the last five years, with some 3,000 people being killed and 7,000 wounded in many dozens of attacks. EFE