TRIPLE BOMBING KILLED 29 IN KIRKUK
Three bombs targeting security forces in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk have left at least 29 people dead and injured dozens more on Thursday 05/19/2011 morning. Overall, at least 70 people were wounded, officials said. Two of the bombs exploded in quick succession near a police station (see also – Kirkuk 06.20.09).
Many of the casualties were police officers who rushed outside after the first bomb went off in the police station car park and were hit by a much larger bomb. About an hour after the explosions near the police station, a third blast nearby was reported to have targeted the convoy of a senior police official, injuring him and a number of officers.
The police chief of Kirkuk province, Maj Gen Jamal Tahir, said the bombings bore the hallmarks of an Al Qaeda attack. “It is a joint operation between al-Qaeda and the armed groups allied with them,” he said. Thursday morning’s attacks were the most deadly the city has seen for some months.
Kirkuk lies in an oil-rich and ethnically divided area where Kurdish authorities are vying for control with the central government in Baghdad. The city is populated by Kurds, Arabs and Turkomen (see -ETHNIC IRAQ).
US forces, who are due to withdraw from Iraq later this year, have been conducting patrols in Kirkuk with central government forces and Kurdish authorities (see – IRAQ-US DEAL).
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