Deadly attacks hit Iraqi-Turkmen rally

At least eight people killed by twin suicide bombings targeting protesters near northern town of Tuz Khurmato.

    A protest by ethnic minority Iraqi-Turkmen was under way when the bombers struck on Tuesday [Reuters]
    A protest by ethnic minority Iraqi-Turkmen was under way when the bombers struck on Tuesday [Reuters]

    Two suicide bombers have attacked a tent packed with protesters in northern Iraq, killing at least eight people and wounding 51 others, officials say.

    A protest by members of a group of ethnic minority Iraqi-Turkmen was taking place at the time of the bombing.

    The attackers struck at around mid-day in the ethnically mixed town of Tuz Khurmato, Talib al-Bayati, the interim town mayor,  told AFP news agency.

    Among the dead were a former deputy provincial governor and his two sons.

    The protesters had been rallying over poor security in the town, which is regularly hit with attacks.

     

    "Protesters were gathering near the coffin of a man who died of serious injuries from a previous bomb in the town, when suddenly a powerful blast hit the protest tent, throwing people away," a policeman who was wounded in the leg told Reuters.

    The second blast happened as protesters tried to take the wounded to hospital.

    Tuz Khurmato lies within a tract of territory that the Kurdish region of northern Iraq wants to incorporate into its three-province region, over Baghdad's objections.

    In another attack on Tuesday, a magnetic "sticky bomb" attached to a minibus went off near the town of Iskandiriya, south of the capital Baghdad, as Shia pilgrims were on their way to Karbala for Shabaniyah commemorations.

    Three people were killed and 15 were wounded, police and a doctor said.

    Early on Tuesday morning, attackers wounded two guards outside an Assyrian church in east Baghdad.

    The attacks struck a day after a wave of car bombs across Baghdad and unrest north of the city killed 35 people.

    Iraq is grappling with a prolonged political deadlock and violence at its worst levels since 2008.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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