Sunni Muslim militants attacked a northern Iraqi village inhabited by Shi’ite ethnic Turkmens but were repelled, police said on Tuesday, highlighting a spike in sectarian bloodshed after stunning advances by jihadi fighters.

The militants were beaten back from the village of Basheer, 15 km (9 miles) south of the city of Kirkuk, after an hour of clashes with local militia and police forces assisted by forces from a nearby Kurdish autonomous region.

Police said Kurdish forces had travelled to Basheer from Kirkuk to help fight a mutual enemy – Sunni militants who were using mortars and machineguns to hit the village. […]