Iraqi security forces inspect the scene of a motorcycle bomb blast near a primary school in the ethnically mixed Iraqi city of Kirkuk
Attacks in Iraq on Thursday killed at least 17 people, including 10 in a bomb at the home of two brothers in the police force, while officials warned Al-Qaeda was targeting ex-fighters who switched sides.
The bloodshed comes after a spate of attacks since US forces completed their withdrawal in December, with Iraq mired in a political standoff that has pitted the Shiite-led government against the main Sunni-backed political bloc, reports AFP.
In the deadliest attack, a bomb exploded at the home of policemen, Ahmed and Jihad Zuwaiyin as they and their families were sleeping at 4:00 am (0100 GMT) in Mussayib, 60 kilometres (35 miles) south of Baghdad.
The blast killed the two, their wives and six children, said a police officer in Babil provincial capital Hilla and a doctor at Mussayib hospital, both on condition of anonymity.
The blast was caused by several roadside-type bombs placed near the house's outer walls, which destroyed it. Four people were wounded and six nearby houses also damaged.
Mussayib, a predominantly Shiite town, lies in a mixed region dubbed the Triangle of Death because of the frequency of attacks during the worst of the insurgency that followed the US-led invasion of 2003.
In the northern city of Kirkuk, meanwhile, three people were killed and five others wounded by a bomb on a motorcycle parked near a primary school in the city centre, police Brigadier General Adil Zain al-Abidine said.
Kirkuk is at the centre of a tract of disputed territory that is claimed by both the central government in Baghdad and authorities in Iraq's autonomous northern Kurdish region.
Gunmen targeting a real estate agents in Yarmuk, west Baghdad, killed at least three people, though there were differing accounts of the attack itself.
A medic at Yarmuk hospital said the attackers burst into a real estate agency and killed three, while an interior ministry official said four people, including two real estate agents, died when gunmen opened fire on their car.
A separate bomb attack at a billiards cafe in Saidiyah, south Baghdad, left at least 17 people wounded, the officials said.
And in the mostly 0Sunni town of Heet, 160 kilometres (100 miles) west of Baghdad, Imam Qatada Mansur al-Heeti was killed by a magnetic "sticky bomb" attached to his car after he left the mosque following evening prayers, a police colonel in the town said.
Heeti was known for his sermons against Al-Qaeda.