30 dead in attack on north Iraq police HQ
Kirkuk (Iraq), Feb 3: A car bomb detonated by a suicide attacker followed by gunmen storming a police headquarters in the north Iraqi city of Kirkuk killed 30 people and wounded 70 others today, a police general said.
Militants had apparently sought to take control of the compound, but were unsuccessful, Brigadier General Natah Mohammed Sabr, the head of the city's emergency services department, told AFP.
The attackers struck at morning rush hour in the city centre, Sabr said, with the militants armed with guns, grenades and suicide vests looking to force their way into the police headquarters in the chaotic aftermath of the car bombing.
In addition to the casualties, the attack caused massive damage to nearby buildings, Sabr said.
The deadly attack shattered a relative calm in recent days in Iraq, which has been grappling with a political crisis pitting Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki against his erstwhile government partners amid weeks of ongoing protests calling for him to resign.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the violence, but Sunni militants including al-Qaeda's front group in Iraq frequently target security forces and government targets in a bid to destabilise the country and push it back towards the sectarian bloodshed that blighted it from 2005 to 2008.
Kirkuk, an ethnically mixed city 240 kilometres north of Baghdad, lies at the heart of a swathe of disputed territory claimed by both the central government and Iraq's autonomous northern Kurdish region.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 3 Feb 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 3 Feb 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 4 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST
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