Deadly car bombings hit northern Iraq

Suicide attacks target police and army checkpoints, killing a total of 16 people in Mosul and in town near Kirkuk.

    The car bombing near Kirkuk was one of two deadly attacks to hit northern Iraq on Sunday [EPA]
    The car bombing near Kirkuk was one of two deadly attacks to hit northern Iraq on Sunday [EPA]

    A car bombing in a commercial area of a northern Iraqi city has killed at least 10 people, while a separate bombing in the north has left six more dead, Iraqi officials say.

    The explosives-laden parked car targeted a joint Iraqi army and police patrol while it passed through a busy commercial area in Mosul on Sunday, killing five civilians and five security personnel, a police officer told the Associated Press news agency.

    He said at least 12 other people were wounded in that blast.

    A medical official confirmed the figures. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorised to release information. 

    Mosul is located about 360km northwest of Baghdad.

    Hours earlier, a suicide car bomber drove his vehicle into a security checkpoint in the northern town of Dibis, killing six people and wounding 15 others, Bestoon Rasheed, the police chief, said.

     

    He said 15 other people were wounded in the attack.

    Civilians were among the victims, but a breakdown of the casualties was not immediately available.

    The town is located near the city of Kirkuk, 290km north of Baghdad.

    No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but suicide bombings and well-coordinated attacks are a hallmark of an al-Qaeda's breakaway branch that operates in Iraq, known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

    Also on Sunday, in a village in the Sulaiman Bek area, also north of Baghdad, armed men attacked a police officer's house, killing his father and brother and wounding another two people.

    Sulaiman Bek has been repeatedly attacked by armed groups, who have seized part or all of the area on several occasions.

    Sunni armed groups have escalated attacks across the country since last year in bid to undermine the Shia-led government of Nouri al-Maliki.

    The attacks come just weeks before parliamentary elections, scheduled to be held on April 30.

    There will be no voting in parts of the western Anbar province, where security forces are battling Sunni Arab fighters who control the provincial capital, Ramadi, and nearly all of the nearby city of Fallujah.

    Violence has escalated in Iraq over the past year, with 2013 seeing the highest death toll since the worst sectarian bloodletting in 2007, according to UN figures.

    More than 8,800 people were killed in violence last year.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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