Iraqi helicopter shot down as 13 killed nationwide
Kirkuk (Iraq): Militants shot down an Iraqi military helicopter on Wednesday, killing four security forces members, as nine people died in other violence, officials said.
The helicopter was shot down during a large-scale operation against militants in a desert area west of Baiji, a town north of Baghdad, killing two crew members and two soldiers who were on board, army officers said.
Iraqi helicopters are periodically hit by gunfire during operations, including one last month in which a pilot was wounded.
In the northern city of Kirkuk, a car bomb detonated near the governorate headquarters, killing two people and wounding 15.
Attacks in Nineveh province, also in northern Iraq, killed three people, while violence in Diyala province left two more dead and two wounded.
And a bomb exploded near a vegetable market southeast of Baghdad, killing two people and wounding six.
Violence has reached a level unseen since 2008, and there are fears Iraq is slipping back toward the intense Sunni-Shiite bloodshed that peaked in 2006-2007 and killed tens of thousands.
Iraq saw a sharp spike in violence including a series of bloody sectarian attacks in September, with the UN putting the monthly death toll at almost 1,000.
The Iraqi government on Tuesday approved temporary hazard pay for security forces in seven "hot areas" including Baghdad, in a sign of the worsening security situation.
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