At least 15 people were killed in attacks Monday on city hall in the northern Iraqi city of Tikrit and a police station in Baiji, police said.
A city official, two police officers and three of the attackers died in the assault on Tikrit's city hall, a police spokesman told Efe.
The assailants set off a car bomb at the building's entrance and then burst in, taking about 40 people hostage.
Security forces members engaged the armed men, who are suspected of being Al Qaeda members, in a shootout and regained control of the building, freeing all the hostages, the police spokesman said.
A series of shootouts occurred in Baiji, located 40 kilometers (about 25 miles) north of Tikrit, when armed men attacked the police station.
Six of the attackers and three police officers were killed in the shootouts.
The attacks in the northern cities occurred as officials deal with a wave of car bombings that killed at least 14 people and wounded 60 others in Baghdad and its suburbs, and an attack in Mosul that killed nine Shiite pilgrims.
Iraq has been rocked by a wave of sectarian violence and terrorist attacks that killed 948 people, according to official figures, in November. EFE