MOSUL, Iraq - Militants riding on pick-up trucks opened fire on a checkpoint in northern Iraq on Wednesday, killing nine policemen, police said.
The attack took place in Shura, 50 km (35 miles) south of Mosul, Iraq's third largest city and capital of the Sunni-dominated Nineveh province, where al Qaeda has been regrouping.
The gunmen showered the checkpoint with a hail of bullets from several directions. An ambulance that rushed to the scene was hit by a bomb that had been planted on the road beforehand, wounding the driver and a nurse, police said.
Sunni Islamist militants have been regaining momentum in their insurgency against the Shi'ite-led government in recent months, striking on an almost daily basis.
Iraq's steadily deteriorating security was highlighted by a mass jailbreak near the capital on Sunday when around 500 convicts, including senior al-Qaida operatives, escaped after militants attacked two prisons.