Bombs kill 14 in northern Iraq

MOSUL, Iraq Wed Mar 7, 2012 7:58pm IST

Related Topics

MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) - A bomb in a parked car exploded outside a restaurant and a suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest then struck a crowd of bystanders, killing 14 people in the northern Iraqi town of Tal Afar on Wednesday, police said.

The attack was the latest violence in the runup to a meeting of Arab leaders intended as the debut for Iraq on the regional stage after the withdrawal of U.S. forces in December.

Nine years after the invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, Iraq is determined to show it can maintain sufficient security to play host to its neighbours for its first Arab summit at the end of this month.

A local official in Tal Afar said: "A parked car bomb exploded near a restaurant in central Tal Afar. Minutes later, a suicide bomber blew himself up in the crowd."

Police said the final toll was 14 people killed and 23 wounded.

Tal Afar is near the border with Syria, about 420 km (260 miles) north of Baghdad and just west of the volatile northern city of Mosul. The town has a large Shi'ite population in a volatile province that is also home to many Sunni Arabs as well as Christians, Kurds and Turkmen.

Violence in Iraq has declined since the height of sectarian conflict in 2006-07, but bombings and shootings still take place on a daily basis.

U.S. troops withdrew in December but some militant groups, particularly Sunni insurgents allied to al Qaeda, have said they will not lay down their arms, and many Iraqis worry whether their government has the wherewithal to impose security.

Fighters have frequently targeted Shi'ite areas and the security forces since the U.S. withdrawal.

In a separate attack on Wednesday, a bomb hit a vehicle occupied by bodyguards of Iraq's Housing and Construction Minister, Mohammed Saheb al-Daraji, in west-central Baghdad. Police said two people died and eight were wounded.

The housing ministry said Daraji was in a convoy with the vehicle that was struck, but was unhurt. Police said the vehicle was not in a convoy and the minister was not near the scene.

A separate bomb attached to a minibus in northern Baghdad killed two passengers.

The first weeks of February were largely quiet, but attacks have increased since then. On Monday, gunmen in apparently unauthorised uniforms of a special police squad carried out attacks on checkpoints and the homes of police officers in a town in Western Iraq, killing 27 people.

On February 23 attackers killed at least 60 people in strikes mainly on security targets in Shi'ite areas.

(Additional reporting by Kareem Raheem, Aseel Kami and Ahmed Rasheed in Baghdad; Writing by Peter Graff; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Canada Shooting

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Fukushima Probe

Fukushima Probe

Japan prosecutors set to rule on possible Fukushima indictments.  Full Article 

Fighting Islamic State

Fighting Islamic State

U.S.-led air strikes killed 553 fighters, 32 civilians in Syria - monitor.  Full Article 

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

Official WHO Ebola toll near 5,000 with true number nearer 15,000.  Full Article 

Total CEO Death

Total CEO Death

Russian prosecutors detain four more suspects in Total CEO plane crash.  Full Article | Related Story 

Abducted Girls

Abducted Girls

Nigeria talks with Boko Haram but no sign of girls' release.  Full Article 

Bodies In Locker

Bodies In Locker

Woman charged after 6 infant bodies found in Canadian locker.  Full Article 

Tunisia Polls

Tunisia Polls

Tunisia election tests transition from autocracy to democracy.  Full Article 

Pope's Agenda

Pope's Agenda

Pope Francis plays long game to reform Catholic Church.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage