Iraqi Officials: Bombing in Contested Town Kills 32 People

An Iraqi man reacts as he enters a building that was destroyed in a suicide-bombing attack in Baghdad's Karrada neighbourhood

(AP) BAGHDAD — Iraqi officials said a suicide bomber detonated a pickup truck loaded with explosives, killing 32 people at a marketplace in a contested town claimed by Baghdad and the Kurdish region.

Iraqi police and hospital officials say the powerful explosion Tuesday evening in Tuz Khormato wounded at least 75 people.

At least six members of Iraq’s security forces were among those killed. Tuz Khormato is about 210 kilometers, or 130 miles, north of Baghdad.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Turkmen MP Niazi Maamar Oglu said an attack of Tuesday’s magnitude had not been seen in the town “for years.”

A security chief in Salaheddin province, Mehdi Taqi, told AFP that a curfew was imposed immediately after the bombing.

“There are still some areas west of Tuz Khurmatu that serve as hideouts for IS and we will soon be carrying out operations to clean them up,” Taqi added.

The town — claimed by both Iraq’s central government and the country’s Kurdish region — has long been the scene of skirmishes between Kurdish fighters known as the peshmerga and the mostly Shiite militia forces loyal to Baghdad.

Such clashes escalated following the Kurdish region’s independence vote in September.

Suicide attacks in Iraq are usually claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group, which has suffered a string of military defeats and last week lost control of the last town the jihadists held in the country.


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