RAMADI, Iraq (AFP) - Twelve people including two children were killed across Iraq on Monday, eight of them in a suicide car bomb on a security checkpoint in Ramadi, a former Al-Qaeda stronghold in the west of the country. Ramadi, a predominantly Sunni Arab city and capital of Anbar province, was a key insurgent base in the aftermath of the toppling of Saddam Husseins regime by US-led forces in 2003, but violence has since dropped dramatically. Mondays attack happened at around 8:30am (0530 GMT) in Al-Jazeera, a northern neighbourhood, a police official told AFP. Elsewhere on Monday, two civilians were killed and 11 people wounded in two car bomb attacks in Baghdad. And in the restive northern oil hub city of Kirkuk, two brothers, aged nine and 14, died after an explosive device they had been playing with blew up, police said. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki sent extra troops to western Iraq at the weekend to secure the border with Syria and hit out at countries he says are giving terrorists the shelter they need to mount attacks inside the country. Maliki signalled no let-up in a worsening row with its neighbour for allegedly harbouring bombers who wrought devastation on Baghdad last month, and broadened his attack to include other nations. We will always look for a process of closing all the doors that the assassins can breathe from again. We blame our brothers and our friends and neighbouring countries, he said on Saturday. Anbars police chief confirmed that police and soldiers had been sent to strengthen security along the Iraq-Syria border, which stretches for 725 kilometres (450 miles), although he would not specify how many. The United States has also accused Syria of having lax border controls that allow insurgents, including Al-Qaeda-linked rebels, to cross. A protest in the southern city of Hilla, meanwhile, saw more than 300 Iraqis gather to demand Syria stop its alleged support for terrorists and assassins. The demonstrators held up banners, declaring: Immorality, Bashar, means killing innocent people in cold blood a jibe at Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Assad has dismissed as immoral and politically motivated allegations by Maliki that Syria is harbouring terrorists. Attacks on the finance and foreign ministries in Baghdad on August 19 killed at least 95 people and wounded 600, in what was the worst day of violence seen in Iraq for 18 months.