Gunmen have killed 19 people in two separate gun attacks in Iraq.

Seven people were killed when gunmen attacked a police checkpoint north of Baghdad.

The attack took place on the highway north of the city of Samarra.

Separately, seven women and five men were shot dead at a brothel in Baghdad, security and medical officials said.

The attack took place at an apartment in the Zayouna area of east Baghdad, where a similar attack took place last year.

On 22 May, gunmen attacked a house in Zayouna that was used as a brothel, killing 12 people.

Army deploys tanks around besieged city of Fallujah

The Iraqi army deployed tanks and artillery around Fallujah as local leaders in the besieged city urged al-Qaeda-linked militants to leave in order to avert an impending military assault.
Security officials and tribal leaders have said that Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki agreed to hold off an offensive to give people in Fallujah time to push the militants out.

But it is not clear how long they have before troops storm the town, close to Baghdad.
Fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), an al-Qaeda affiliate also active across the border in Syria, overran police stations in Fallujah and another city in Iraq's western Anbar province last week.

Iraqi security forces backed by tribal fighters regained control in the centre of Anbar's provincial capital Ramadi yesterday according to security sources.