Baghdad: At least 26 policemen were killed and 10 others were wounded Sunday in clashes between gunmen and police in northern Iraq, police said.

The clashes occurred when unidentified gunmen attacked police forces tasked with protecting oil pipelines in the village of Ghazil, 40 km south of Mosul, which is located about 400 km north of Baghdad, a police source told Xinhua.

The clashes lasted more than one and a half hours, the source added.

No militant group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.

Iraq is witnessing its worst violence in recent years. According to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq, a total of 8,868 Iraqis, including 7,818 civilians and non-combatant security personnel, were killed in 2013, the highest annual death toll in years.

Source: IANS