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Iraq policeman gives life to shield recruits, 15 killed

An Iraqi policeman sacrificed himself to shield army recruits from a suicide bomber northeast of Baghdad on Thursday, as attacks targeting security personnel killed 15 people country-wide.

The violence comes as Iraq suffers a protracted surge in bloodshed that has killed more than 2,650 people so far this year despite wide-ranging operations against militants by the security forces.

In Baladruz, northeast of Baghdad, policeman Raad Kadhim Hattab threw his arms around a suicide bomber who was trying to target a recruitment center, the interior ministry said.

The bomber detonated his explosives, killing Hattab and an army recruit and wounding 10 others, police and a doctor said — a toll that would almost certainly have been higher were it not for the policeman's sacrifice.

Militants killed 13 security forces members on Thursday in the northern province of Nineveh, which is one of the most dangerous areas of Iraq.

In Mahallabiyah, west of provincial capital Mosul, militants armed with automatic weapons attacked a military site, killing 12 soldiers and wounding 15, a police officer and a morgue employee said.

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