Three people killed, 73 wounded in attacks in Iraq

Three people killed, 73 wounded in attacks in Iraq
# 29 September 2011 17:58 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. A series of gunfire and bomb attacks, including suicide truck bombing, in northern and central Iraq on Thursday killed three people and wounded some 73 others, the police said, APA reports.

In northern Iraq, a woman was killed and 67 people wounded in a suicide truck bomb explosion near a bank in the city of Kirkuk, some 250 km north of Baghdad.

The attack occurred before midday when a suicide bomber blew up his explosive-laden truck near a crowd of policemen gathered outside the government-owned bank in central Kirkuk to collect the salaries on behalf of their units.

The powerful blast left at least eight vehicles ablaze and caused severe damages to the bank building and several nearby houses, the source said.

"The security measures were tight in the area, but the attacker drove his booby-trapped truck to the scene rapidly and managed to blow it up," the source said.

However, he said the security measures, including concrete barricades, helped reduce the death toll.

The oil-rich province of Kirkuk and its capital Kirkuk City are part of disputed areas between the Kurds and both Arabs and Turkomans. The province has long been the hotbed of insurgency since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

In Baghdad, Major Nasir Yassin, an Iraqi army officer, was gunned down by armed men using silenced weapons while driving his car in Qahira district in northern the capital, an Interior Ministry source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

In western Iraq, a gunman was killed and another wounded when a roadside bomb exploded while they were trying to plant it on a road outside the city of al-Qaim, near the Iraqi-Syrian border in Iraq’s western province of Anbar, a source from the provincial command operation told Xinhua.

In Iraq’s eastern province of Diyala, three civilians were wounded in a roadside bomb explosion near a shop in the provincial capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeastern of Baghdad, a source from the provincial operations command told Xinhua.

In separate incident, a policeman and a civilian were injured when a roadside bomb struck an Iraqi police patrol in al-Mafraq area, just west of Baquba, the source said.

Also in the province, Iraqi security forces arrested 10 suspects during the past 24 hours, including three wanted individuals, and defusing three roadside bombs, the source added.

Violence has been increased in Iraq as the Iraqi forces are preparing to take over control of security after the proposed departure of U.S. troops by the end of the year.

Iraqi officials frequently said that Iraqi security forces are capable of maintaining internal security, but they warned that they cannot yet to provide security on the country’s borders.

U.S. military forces are to pull out completely from Iraq by the end of 2011, according to a security pact, Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), signed late in 2008 between Baghdad and Washington.

However, Iraq is reportedly negotiating with United States to keep U.S. military trainers in Iraq beyond the deadline for training Iraqi forces.