Seven members of the security forces have been killed and eight others injured in bomb attacks and clashes in central Iraq, officials said.
They said two roadside bombs targeted joint army and police patrols in the town of Jurf al-Sakhar, prompting clashes in which artillery was used to support security forces.
Four policemen and three soldiers were killed.
They added that 16 militants were killed and 17 arrested, while seven houses used by militants to store weapons were demolished.
The town, about 30 miles (50km) south of the capital, Baghdad, is a former insurgent stronghold which has in the past seen attacks on security forces and nearby Shiite areas.
A medical official confirmed the casualties.