Suicide bomber kills three Iraqi soldiers

FALLUJAH, Iraq (AFP) - A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-rigged vehicle at an Iraqi army checkpoint west of Baghdad on Friday, killing three soldiers, an officer and a doctor said.

The bomber attacked the checkpoint at the entrance to the town of Heet in Anbar province at about 7:30 am (0430 GMT), also wounding five soldiers.

Militants frequently carry out attacks against security forces members and other government employees.

While Anbar province was home to militant strongholds in past years, it has been relatively quiet in recent weeks, with much of the violence concentrated in Baghdad, Nineveh, Diyala, Kirkuk and Salaheddin provinces.

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.

With the latest violence, almost 60 people have been killed in attacks so far this month, and over 4,750 since the beginning of the year, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources.