Authorities in Iraq say at least nine people were killed in insurgent attacks in Baghdad and northern Iraq Thursday.
In Baghdad, at least seven civilians died and 13 others were wounded in two car bomb blasts.
And, in Kirkuk, to the north, gunmen killed an Army captain and his driver as they were heading to work.
In another development, Iraq's interior ministry says it is investigating reports that a death squad targeting Sunni Arabs is operating within the police force.
A senior official - Major-General Hussein Kamal - said the probe follows reports that the U.S. military is holding 22 people, who were caught trying to take away a Sunni man, and were dressed as police commandos.
An American newspaper (Chicago Tribune) quoted senior U.S. military officer - Maj. Gen. Joseph Peterson - as saying the incident happened in northern Iraq late last month.
Sunnis often complain of atrocities by Iraqi police, most of whom are Shi'ite Muslims.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.