Unknown gunmen shot dead four civilians, including a brother of a senior official in Salahudin province on Thursday, said a source from the U.S. and Iraqi liaison office.
"Salim Jabbar Mutar, brother of head of the city council of Tikrit capital city, was shot dead along with three people when gunmen opened fire on their car on a main road in the al-Dhibaiearea southwest of Tikrit," the source from the Joint Coordination Center in Tikrit told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
Separately, the U.S. troops killed seven insurgents and detained 14 suspected al-Qaida militants during operations on Wednesday in the mountainous area in Salahudin province, according to a U.S. military statement on Thursday.
The operations targeted suspected elements of al-Qaida in Iraq network, who were allegedly involved in suicide attacks in the area, said the statement.
Insurgents have increased their attacks in northern Iraq after they were pushed out from their strongholds in central and western parts of the country by major offensives of the U.S. and Iraqi security forces.