Four killed by car bombs in disputed territory in Iraq

HEAVY TOLL::More than 1,000 people were killed in Iraq last month alone, making it the deadliest period since the sectarian violence of 2006 to 2007

AFP and Reuters, KIRKUK and BAGHDAD, Iraq

Mon, Jun 24, 2013 - Page 5

Three car bombs killed at least four people yesterday in disputed territory in northern Iraq where analysts fear tensions could trigger a full-blown conflict.

The unresolved row over the swathe of land, which Iraqi Kurdistan wants to incorporate into it’s three-province autonomous region over Baghdad’s objections, is cited by diplomats as among the biggest threats to Iraq’s stability.

In the town of Riyadh, three policemen were killed and 14 people were wounded when a suicide attacker set off a minibus rigged with explosives outside the town’s police headquarters, police Brigadier General Sarhad Qader said.

Another person was killed and 27 were wounded by two car bombs targeting Shiite Turkmen areas of Tuz Khurmatu, an ethnically diverse town in the disputed territory, which stretches from Iraq’s eastern border with Iran to its western frontier with Syria.

The row is one of several between the central government and the autonomous Kurdish region.

A suicide bomber blew himself up inside a Shiite mosque in northern Baghdad killing at least 12 people, police and medics said, in the deadliest of a series of attacks that claimed more than 30 lives across Iraq on Saturday.

Scattered attacks throughout the day killed at least 22 others, about half of them in or near the northern city of Mosul, where a suicide bomber killed four people at a police checkpoint.

In the western province of Anbar, militants detonated two car bombs near a checkpoint and attacked it with rocket-propelled grenades, killing five policemen.

Two people were killed when gunmen hurled a hand grenade at a gathering of laborers in Tikrit, 150km north of Baghdad, and a roadside bomb in the center of the capital killed two more.

More than 1,000 people were killed in Iraq last month alone, making it the deadliest month since the sectarian bloodletting of 2006 to 2007.