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Middle East
Two deadly bombings strike Iraq
At least 12 people killed and 28 others wounded as two bombs, one a possible suicide attack, target Tikrit.
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2011 11:28
A bomb attached to a police car in Karbala killed three people and wounded 15 others on July 16 [Reuters]

At least 12 people have been killed and 28 more wounded after two bombs exploded in the Iraqi city of
Tikrit, as police and soldiers were collecting their salaries at a local bank, according to a police official.

A car bomb exploded outside the Rafidain state-run bank in the centre of Tikrit and a suicide bomber blew himself up as emergency workers arrived on the scene, police said on Thursday.

"We have 12 people killed and 28 more wounded," said Raed Ibrahim, head of the provincial health department. "Ambulances and civilian cars are still bringing in the wounded."

It was not known how many policemen were among the dead and wounded.

Tikrit, the home town of Saddam Hussein, Iraq's deposed ruler, is located 130km north of Baghdad.

Television footage of the blast showed a huge white mushroom cloud over the two-story bank, followed by thick black smoke, Associated Press reported.

A car parked nearby was on fire, and firefighters struggled to douse the flames. Iraqi security forces have sealed off the area.

Tikrit is dominated by Sunni Muslims and suspected Sunni fighters tied to al-Qaeda have carried out frequent attacks in the town this year.

Tikrit was the site of two of the deadliest attacks in Iraq this year.

On January 18 a suicide bomber attacked a police recruiting centre, killing 60 and wounding more than 100, while 53 people were killed and scores wounded when fighters took hostages at the provincial council headquarters in March.

Violence in Iraq has dropped sharply from the height of sectarian killing in 2006-2007, but fighters and militias still carry out daily attacks and assassinations in an attempt to undermine the government.

Local police and soldiers are increasingly targeted by them.

More than eight years after the US-led invasion that toppled Saddam, the last American troops are due to leave by the end of this year.

Iraqi forces say they can contain internal threats but acknowledge they need more training to plug capability gaps.

Source:
Agencies
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