Baghdad, Anbar province racked by violence
(CNN) — At least 16 people were killed across Iraq on Sunday as gunmen and Iraqi security forces clashed in several areas, police officials in Baghdad and Ramadi said.
At least 14 of the victims were slain in Anbar province, the police said.
The deadliest incident was in Rawa, about 300 kilometers (186 miles) northwest of Baghdad. There, gunmen engaged Iraqi police in a firefight, with three policemen and five gunmen dying. Three other people were wounded during that battle.
Also in Anbar, six police officers who were kidnapped Saturday were found Sunday, shot dead on a highway in western Ramadi, which lies about 100 kilometers (62 miles) west of Baghdad, on the way to Rawa.
The six policemen were among 14 people, mostly Shiites, who were abducted.
Baghdad also witnessed two acts of extreme violence.
In southern Baghdad, gunmen opened fire on a group of young men sitting outside their houses playing checkers, killing two and wounding five others.
In eastern Baghdad, a roadside bomb exploded on a civilian vehicle and wounded five people.
Sunday's incidents come at the end of a weekend full of strife across Iraq.
At least 15 people were killed Saturday in Baghdad and Anbar provinces, police said, in what appeared to be sectarian violence.
On Friday, at least 40 people were killed and 46 others wounded in two roadside explosions outside a Sunni mosque in the city of Baquba, police and health officials told CNN.
Worshippers were leaving the mosque and attending a funeral.
Tensions have grown in recent months between Iraq's Sunnis and Shiites, especially after an incident last month in Hawija, in Kirkuk province, where Iraqi security forces raided a site used by Sunni protesters to demonstrate against the Shiite-led government.
Sunnis, who represent a minority of Iraqis, have been politically marginalized since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Shiites, who make up a majority of Iraqis, now dominate the government.