A car bomb explosion in the Iraqi city of Mosul on Monday killed 12 policemen as they queued to receive their monthly pay, police said.

 

The blast took place near the city's main hospital.

  

"Eleven policemen were killed and six others wounded in the explosion. They had gathered to receive their pay near the hospital," police Captain Qasim Muhammad said.

 

Hasan Tahsin al-Ubaidi, director of Mosul's al-Jumhuri hospital, told Aljazeera a man had arrived at the hospital and asked all policemen there to gather for military statistics purposes. The man then blew himself up killing the assembled policemen.

 

The explosion created a large crater in the road and destroyed at least five cars.

 

Baquba bomb

 

The second car bombing took place outside the police headquarters in the town of Baquba, north of Baghdad, leaving 14 dead and another 14 wounded, police said.

 

"A car bomb exploded in front of one of the entrances to Diyala police headquarters slightly before 11am (0800 GMT)," Muhammad Hasan said.

 

Casualties of the bombing being
treated at a Baquba hospital

"Fourteen people were wounded," fellow policeman Ali Mahmud said.

 

Husain al-Mujamaai, an Iraqi journalist, told Aljazeera that volunteers had gathered near the Diyala police directorate, which also serves as the headquarters of the US military police.

 

Although the building is surrounded by protective material,the driver of the booby-trapped car managed to reach the volunteers, near one of the building's gates. 

 

Al-Mujamaai said a large number of policemen had quit the police force over the last few months because of security concerns.

 

Baquba, 60km northeast of Baghdad, is the capital of Diyala province.

 

Reports said ambulances had arrived at the scene to tend to the victims.

 

Fighters trying to overthrow Iraq's US-backed interim government have mounted frequent attacks on Iraqi security forces.

 

Al-Qaida link? 

 

Meanwhile, an al-Qaida wing in Iraq has said one of its fighters killed at least 11 Iraqis in Mosul, according to an internet statement.

 

"A lion in the Martyrs' Brigades of al-Qaida Organisation for Holy War in Iraq attacked a gathering of apostates seeking to return to the apostate police force in Mosul near the hospital," a statement carried on an website said. The origin of the website could not be confirmed.

 

"The martyr was wearing an explosives belt and blew himself up after he entered the crowd," the group said, vowing to carry out more attacks on "apostates and their masters".

 

Monday's blast in Mosul was the deadliest attack since last week's elections.