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Twelve Iraqis killed in sectarian violence

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - At least 12 people were killed by roadside bombs and shootings across Iraq on Wednesday and a government convoy came under attack, prompting a senior politician to accuse security services of negligence.

The deadliest attack, in what has become daily sectarian violence, took place in a town near Kut, south of Baghdad, when a roadside bomb hit a minibus carrying Shi'ite poultry farm workers, killing eight of them, police said.

Four policemen were killed and six wounded when militants opened fire at a checkpoint in Baiji, north of the capital.

A parked car bomb blew up when a convoy heading to Mosul airport to pick up the speaker of parliament was passing, seriously wounding six bodyguards. It was not clear whether the attack was meant to target the speaker, Usama al-Nujaif.

His office issued a statement, criticizing lax security and warning that Mosul could fall under the control of "terrorists".

"The continuing reluctance, negligence and violations among the ranks of security services, and its inability to protect citizens ... especially in parts of Mosul City, south Mosul and the international road between Baghdad and Mosul, means the city will be controlled by the terrorists and the killers," it said.

More than 6,000 people have been killed in violence across the country this year, according to monitoring group Iraq Body Count, reversing a decline in sectarian bloodshed that reached a peak in 2006-07.

It was not immediately clear who was behind Wednesday's attacks, but Sunni Muslim insurgents and al Qaeda's Iraqi wing have significantly increased their attacks this year. Nearly 900 civilians were killed across Iraq in September, according to United Nations mission in Iraq.

(Reporting by Ghazwan Hassan in Tikrit and Ziad al-Sinjary in Mosul; Writing by Suadad al-Salhy; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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