A roadside bomb exploded near a police patrol early Wednesday, killing at least seven officers, according to police.
The blast went off about 2 a.m. on the road to Affak, which is about 30 km (20 miles) east of Diwaniyah, said the police officer who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information. Diwaniyah, about 130 kilometers (80 miles) south of Baghdad, has been a recent hotspot for clashes among rival Shiite groups.
Police said about an hour earlier, gunmen had attacked the police station, but no casualties were reported. A three-vehicle patrol carrying additional officers was then sent to Affak to assist and that convoy was hit by the bomb. One vehicle was destroyed and the dead included the commander of the backup patrol, police said.
About 6:30 a.m., a bomb exploded near a residential building in Zaafaraniyah, a predominantly Shi'ite neighborhood in southeastern Baghdad. At least two Iraqi civilians died in the blast and two others were wounded, according to police.