Deadly blast in oil-rich Kirkuk

Bombing kills at least 11 police officers outside oil company in northern Iraq.

    Officials said the dead were police from the
    Oil Protection Force [AFP]

    "All that was left of the bus were its seats, the officers' Kalashnikovs, and human body parts," he said.

    Al-Qaeda blamed

    Major-General Torhan Yousuf, the deputy police chief of Kirkuk province, told the AFP news agency that the bomber had approached the bus from behind, before driving alongside and crashing into it causing the explosion.

    "At this moment we think the attack bears the hallmark of al-Qaeda," he said.

     
    "We estimate the bomb contained 250 to 300 kilogrammes of explosives."

    Protection of Iraq's oil industry is crucial as the country derives almost all of its revenue from its vast crude reserves, the world's third largest.

    About 31,000 people are deployed in the country's oil protection force which safeguards pipelines and provides security at refineries and gas stations.

    No oil infrastructure was damaged in Wednesday's blast.

    Disputed city

    Arabs, Turkmen and Kurds are competing for power in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, 290km north of Baghdad.

    The majority Kurds want to incorporate the area into their autonomous northern region, while other groups want it to remain under central government control.

    In December, a suicide bomber killed 55 people in a restaurant outside the city where Kurdish and Arab leaders were meeting to reconcile political differences.

    Wednesday's bombing was the latest in a series of deadly attacks that have taken place despite widespread claims that violence is falling across the country.

    A total of 252 Iraqis were killed in violence in March.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    No country in the world recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    Inside the world of Chinese bitcoin mining

    Inside the world of Chinese bitcoin mining

    China is one of the main exchange markets and hosts some of the biggest bitcoin 'mining pools' in the world.

    Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

    Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

    It's time to change the way we talk and think about Africa.