Militants kill 12 soldiers and police officer near Mosul

Mosul:Militants armed with automatic weapons attacked a military position in northern Iraq on Thursday, killing 12 soldiers, and a senior police officer was shot dead in a separate attack.
The attack in the Mahallabiyah area west of Mosul also wounded 15 soldiers, while a police colonel was killed to the southeast of the city, a morgue employee and a police major said.
It is the deadliest day for the Iraqi army since February 17, when 13 soldiers died in clashes and an attack.
Iraq is suffering a protracted surge in bloodshed that has killed more than 2,650 people so far this year despite wide-ranging operations against extremist militants by the security forces.
Militant groups frequently target members of the security forces and civilians.
The security forces face a major test on April 30 when Iraqis vote in the first parliamentary election since American forces left at the end of 2011.
Already this month more than 400 people have been killed in the violence, according to  figures based on security and medical sources.
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