Officials: Checkpoint attacks kill 7 Iraq soldiers

Mourners unload the coffin of Imad Younis, 22, who was killed in a car bomb attack, in the Shiite holy city of Najaf, 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013. A wave of car bombs on Wednesday killed and wounded dozens of people, the latest attacks in a months-long surge in violence. More than 3,000 people have been killed in violence during the past few months, raising fears Iraq could see a new round of widespread sectarian bloodshed similar to that which brought the country to the edge of civil war in 2006 and 2007. (AP Photo/Haider Hamdani)

BAGHDAD (AP) — Officials say that attacks on security checkpoints in central Iraq have killed seven soldiers.

Police officials said that the deadlier of the two attacks occurred early Saturday when gunmen opened fire on an army checkpoint just south of Baghdad, killing four soldiers and wounding four others.

Police said three soldiers were killed and one was wounded in another checkpoint attack near Muqdadiyah, a town 90 kilometers (60 miles) north of Baghdad.

Medical hospital officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to journalists.

Violence has been rising across Iraq since a deadly crackdown by government forces on a Sunni protest camp in April. Security forces are favorite targets for insurgents who want to undermine the Shite-led government.