Iraqi police have told Al Jazeera that at least 60 people have died on Tuesday after a suicide bomber attacked a police station in Tikrit, around 150 km north of Baghdad, the capital.
A man wearing a vest filled with explosives detonated himself next to a crowd of police recruits, Ahmed Abdul-Jabber, the deputy governor of the Salaheddin province, said.
The powerful blast injured at least 100 people, making it one of the bloodiest attacks in recent months.
There were more than 300 men standing in line waiting to apply for police jobs when the bomber struck, a police source told Reuters.
"The hospital theatre now is full of dead and wounded young people," the source said, asking not to be identified.
Loudspeakers from the city's mosques called on people to donate blood for the wounded as Iraqi television broadcast images of pools of blood, and scraps of clothing and shoes of the victims.
Tikrit is the hometown of Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi president, and authorities suspect the province remains home to those sympathetic to Hussein and his Ba'ath party and opposed to the current leadership.
The attack was the bloodiest in Iraq since Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, won support in December for his reappointment, following a nine-month political stalemate.
Source: Al Jazeera and agencies