Iraq

Three bombs in Kirkuk kill at least 25

Reuters/Ako Rasheed

A series of attacks against police in the disputed northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk killed at least 25 people and wounded 79 others on Thursday. Three explosions occurred around one hour apart in the oil-rich, ethnically-divided city, security officials said.

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A magnetic "sticky bomb" attached to a car exploded at 9:20am local in the parking lot of the city's police headquarters, Major Salam Zangan said.

When police and emergency services arrived at the scene shortly afterwards, a car bomb detonated.

At around 10:30am another car bomb exploded near the convoy of a senior police official in Kirkuk, Colonel Aras Mohammed, wounding him and 13 of his bodyguards, according to security officials.

"The explosions today killed 25 people and wounded 79 others," said Sadiq Omar Rasul, the director of Kirkuk's provincial health department. "The majority of the casualties were police."

The twin blasts caused massive damage to nearby police and civilian vehicles.

Kirkuk lies at the centre of a tract of disputed territory that is claimed by both Iraq's central government in Baghdad and Kurdish regional authorities in Arbil.

Its population is made up of Kurds, Turkmens, Arabs, Assyrians and Armenians.

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