Iraqi police said Thursday that over 40 people have died in clashes in the northern city of Mosul, reported the Associated Press, the latest flare-up in sectarian violence currently gripping the nation.
Reports of clashes in various cities have left many people dead in Iraq over the past several days.
In Mosul, a local police official told AP on the condition of anonymity that 31 insurgents and 10 officers had been killed there since Wednesday.
Reuters, citing military sources, said 15 officers were killed and identified the 31 dead insurgents as "Sunni Islamist militants," adding that Iraq's recent sectarian violence is at its worst level since US forces withdrew in December 2011.
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Clashes between government forces and militants in another northern town on Wednesday killed scores, with the government resorting to armed helicopters in a bid to stamp out the violence.
Such reports reflect growing unrest among Iraq's majority Sunnis, who have been holding large demonstrations against alleged discrimination on the part of the ruling Shiite government in recent months.
The Sunni uprising has "now turned violent," The New York Times reported Wednesday, saying the upheaval poses "a significant challenge to the rule of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki," a Shiite.
The upheaval is also being felt in Baghdad. A deadly government raid on a Sunni encampment in Hawija on Tuesday prompted resignation of two Sunni parliamentarians, said The New York Times.