Three Iraqi soldiers and three civilians died Saturday when a suicide truck bomber detonated his explosives as Iraqi forces chased the speeding vehicle near Mosul, an army officer said.
Acting on a tip, a team of Iraqi soldiers tried to intercept the suicide driver as he was heading west from Mazra village toward Mosul, 360 kilometers (225 miles) northwest of Baghdad.
About 9 a.m., the soldiers fired on the pickup and thought they hit the driver, the officer said on condition of anonymity because he feared reprisal.
But as the Iraqi Humvee neared the truck, the driver detonated his explosive payload.
In addition to the six dead, 17 people near the blast were wounded.
Also Saturday, drive-by gunmen killed a Sunni sheik near his home in Mosul's Mithaq neighborhood, said police spokesman Abdul Karim al-Jbouri.
Sheik Ghanim Qassim was a mosque preacher and member of Mosul's edict commission, a religious rule-making body.