Police and health officials say bombings in a town west of Baghdad have killed five people, including three family members of a former pro-government Sunni fighter.
Police officers say that bombs planted around the house of Ahmed Jassim in the town of Khan Dhari went off at 5:30 a.m., killing his wife and two sons and wounding the former Sons of Iraq militiaman and his daughter. The Sunni group battled al-Qaida at the peak of Iraq's war.
Minutes later, a roadside bomb hit an Iraqi army patrol that was rushing to Jassim's house, killing two soldiers and injuring four others. A local doctor confirmed the casualty figures.
All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
BAGHDAD (AP) _ A leading human rights group is criticizing Iraq's government for what it says is a "violent crackdown" on pro-reform protesters.
A report by the London-based Amnesty International underscores Iraq's struggle to build a democracy and improve stability and living conditions. The report was released on Monday.
It says both the central government in Baghdad and that of the semiautonomous northern Kurdish region are threatening, harassing and intimidating critics, journalists and protest organizers.
Amnesty's Mideast director, Malcolm Smart, says Iraq's excessive use of force should be investigated.
Iraqis have held regular rallies since February, inspired by uprisings in the Arab world, to protest lack of services, unemployment and rampant corruption.