At least 18 people, most of them members of the armed forces and security services, died and nine others were wounded Sunday in a number of attacks around Iraq, police spokesmen told Efe.

Unknown gunmen attacked a police checkpoint in Taza, a region to the west of Baghdad, killing at least five officers and then escaping.

Three members of the armed forces died and four others were wounded in an attack on an army checkpoint in Al Riad, a zone southwest of the northern city of Kirkuk.

In Tikrit, capital of Salaheddin province, two police officers died in an attack on another checkpoint in the village of Shokra, in the Sharqat district.

Two civilians were shot to death by unknown gunmen on the highway west of Tikrit, while a man and his wife were gunned down by unknown killers who broke into their house in the eastern part of that city.

A car-bomb attack on a police checkpoint near the Al Warar bridge north of Ramadi, a city in Al Anbar province, killed three police officers and wounded four others.

One civilian died and another was wounded when their car was fired upon in the Al Salam area, east of Baquba, capital of Diyala province, police said.

Iraq is experiencing an upsurge in sectarian violence and terrorist attacks, which over the past year have killed more than 8,860 people, of whom 7,818 were civilians, according to United Nations figures. EFE