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BAGHDAD (AP) An Iraqi police official says militants have ambushed a truck convoy with Shiites in a remote area in the north and killed 14 people.

Police Chief of the northern city of Tuz Khormato, Col. Hussein Ali Rasheed, said Thursday that the attackers first fired mortar rounds at a nearby military base and bombed a communication tower to draw security forces' attention away before intercepting the convoy.

Rasheed says the ambush took place late Wednesday night near Sarha village. All the casualties were Shiite truck drivers from Baghdad and their helpers. Their bodies were found with gunshots to the head.

Tuz Khormato is about 200 kilometers (125 miles) north of Baghdad.

Attacks on civilians and government forces have escalated across Iraq recently. More than 3,000 people have been killed since April.