Series of blasts hits Iraq's Kirkuk, 6 killed

KIRKUK, Iraq Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:42pm IST

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KIRKUK, Iraq (Reuters) - A series of blasts hit Iraq's Kirkuk on Sunday, killing at least six people and wounding tens more in neighbourhoods across the ethnically mixed city, security and hospital sources said.

Kirkuk, which sits atop some of the world's largest oil reserves, is at the heart of a dispute between the Arab-led central government in Baghdad and ethnic Kurds who run their own autonomous region to the north of the country.

Three roadside bombs exploded near a Shi'ite mosque in the city, and a car bomb and a roadside bomb detonated near a Kirkuk television channel, according to police officials.

Omar Sideeq, head of Kirkuk's health department, said six people were killed and 30 wounded. But a police official said 10 people had been killed in the attacks.

The string of blasts came just hours after bombs planted inside a car killed two Kurdish Peshmerga military recruits in another disputed region of northern Iraq.

No-one claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the bombings hit at a moment of escalating tensions between Baghdad and Kurdistan after both regions sent troops from their armies to reinforce positions along the disputed internal frontier.

(Reporting by Baghdad newsroom, writing by Patrick Markey)

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