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Seven people killed in Iraq attacks

A suicide bomber in the northern city of Tikrit and gunmen in the Iraqi capital have killed a total of seven people.

Four died when gunmen in speeding vehicles opened fire on two security checkpoints in Baghdad.

And in Saddam Hussein's home town, the northern city of Tikrit, three people died when a bomb went off outside a checkpoint going into a government compound.

An Iraqi army colonel was killed in the explosion as he drove into the government compound in a convoy when a suicide bomber driving a vehicle blew himself up nearby.

The compound in Tikrit is a collection of palaces and buildings built under Saddam which now serves as a hub for government offices. It has been nicknamed the Tikrit "Green Zone" after the fortified area in central Baghdad that houses many government buildings and embassies.

Bombers often target such entrances and exits to government compounds or buildings, especially during the morning when officials are going to work and cars are often lined up at the entrance.

The attack is the second time in recent days that Tikrit has come under siege.

On Friday, a suicide bomber blew himself up in a mosque inside the government compound, killing 16 people. The mosque is frequented by people living inside the compound so many of those killed or injured were government or security employees.

Hours later, another suicide bomber walked into the Tikrit hospital and blew himself up near the emergency room, where family members had gathered. Five people were killed and 16 were injured in that incident.

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From Belfast Telegraph