A suicide bomber drove a truck packed with explosives into the playground of a primary school in northern Iraq and blew himself up, killing 14 children and their headmaster.

Separately, another suicide bomber attacked a group of Shia pilgrims on their way to visit a shrine in Baghdad.

At least 14 people were killed and 30 injured some of them critically.

No group has claimed responsibility for either bombing.

More than 6,000 people have been killed across the country this year, according to monitoring group Iraq Body Count.

The figures suggest a reversal of  the decline in sectarian bloodshed that had reached a climax in 2006-07.

The attack at the primary school followed a suicide bombing minutes earlier on a police station in the same town, Tel Afar.

Tel Afar is located about 70km northwest of Mosul city, where Sunni Islamist and other insurgents have a foothold.

There were no casualties in the police station attack.

The majority of Tel Afar's residents are from Iraq's Shia Turkman minority, which in recent years has been the target of killings and kidnappings.