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Suicide bomber targets Iraqi forces, killing seven

Seven security forces were killed in Baghdad in a suicide bombing on Saturday while two attacks on Friday have killed a total of nine people
Iraqi soldiers take position in a street of Ramadi, west of the capital Baghdad (AFP)

A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-rigged vehicle at a checkpoint south of Baghdad on Saturday, killing at least seven security forces members, security and medical officials said.

There was no immediate claim for the attack in Yusufiyah, which also wounded 23 people, but suicide bombings are a hallmark of extremist militants, including those from group the Islamic State (IS).

In two separate attacks on Friday, two people were killed in a bomb attack in the town of Tuz Khurmatu in the northern Iraqi province of Salahuddin, a local public security official told the Anadolu Agency (AA).

Faruq Ahmad said that earlier on Friday, at least seven people were also killed and 21 others wounded in a howitzer attack in Tuz Khurmatu by the IS.

AA sources affiliated with the peshmerga, northern Iraq's armed forces, said Kurdish forces had launched an expansive operation - backed by the US - in a bid to retake the Zummar and Ayn Zale regions, close to Iraq's border with Turkey, from the militant group.

The militants seized the two oil-rich regions on 3 August.

Meanwhile, security forces and allied Shiite militiamen are battling militants in several areas south of the capital, the southern front in the fight to regain ground lost to an IS-led offensive that overran large areas of Iraq in June.

Iraqi forces are struggling to push back the militants' advance.