12 killed in Iraq 'sectarian' clashes

BAGHDAD – Twelve people were killed on Friday in clashes between Sunni villagers and suspected Shiite militants in Iraq's northern Diyala province, a military official said.

A militia attacked al-Mekheisa village in the town of Abu Seida and clashed with residents, an army officer, requesting anonymity, told Anadolu Agency.

"Ten militants and two villagers were killed in the violence," the officer said.

Several civilians were also injured in the clashes. According to the officer, the militants burned down four homes on the village's outskirts. Friday's violence came one day after militants attacked several security checkpoints in al-Mekheisa,

Recent months have seen an uptick in violence across Iraq. Observers warn that the violence could impact April 30 parliamentary polls in the country.

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