The western province of Anbar, three soldiers were killed during a two-hour gunbattle with men who attacked a checkpoint controlled by government-backed Sunni fighters in Garma, 9 km (six miles) east of the city of Falluja
At dawn, another group of militants exchanged fire with military forces and pro-government Sunni militia in the western village of Karma, near the city of Fallujah, two other police officers said. Three soldiers were killed and 18 were wounded, including seven Sunni fighters.
The first skirmish took place in the early hours of Thursday when militants attacked an army check point in the town of Taji, killing four soldiers and wounding four others, two police officers said. The militants fled the area after a brief gunbattle and did not suffer any casualties, Taji is a former insurgent stronghold, located about 12 miles (20 kilometers) north of the Iraqi capital.
The Sunni fighters were from the pro-government group known as Sahwa, which joined with U.S. troops in the war against al-Qaida at the height of Iraq war. Ever since, it has been a target for Sunni insurgents who consider them traitors.