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Iraq blasts kill 12 ahead of talks

At least 10 people have been killed in a blast in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk in an attack outside the office of a Kurdish political party. Another blast to the south was reported to have killed two.

A wounded resident walks near the site of a suicide bomb blast attack in Kirkuk (Photo: REUTERS/Ako Rasheed)

Anschlag in Bagdad

The deadliest of the bomb attacks - both apparently aimed at Kurdish political factions - took place outside the office of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in Kirkuk.

Provincial council chairman Hassan Torhan told the AP news agency that as many as 90 people could have been injured and suggested that the number of dead might rise.

The attackers targeted a busy commercial street, with reports that passers-by had helped police carry the wounded to safety.

"A suicide bomber driving a truck packed with explosives detonated the vehicles outside the KDP headquarters. It's a crowded area," Police Brigadier Sarhat Qadir told the Reuters news agency.

Another two people died and 20 more were reported wounded in another blast outside the office of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party, in the town of Tuz Khurmato. The town, which is 70 percent ethnically Turkmen, lies some 90 kilometers to the south of Kirkuk in the Salaheddin province and 170 kilometers (105 miles) north of Baghdad.

No group initially claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The bombings come ahead of talks to address a dispute between the central Iraqi administration and the Kurdish autonomous regional government over oilfields. Both claim rights and other territorial issues - including jurisdiction over Kirkuk itself.

rc/ipj (AFP/AP/Reuters)
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