Many killed in attack on police headquarters in Iraq city of Kirkuk | Middle East| News and analysis of events in the Arab world | DW | 03.02.2013
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Middle East

Many killed in attack on police headquarters in Iraq city of Kirkuk

An assault on a police headquarters in northern Iraq involving a suicide bomber driving a car and disguised gunmen has killed at least 30 people. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The attack came during the morning rush hour in the northern Iraq city of Kirkuk on Sunday. A suicide bomber driving a car detonated his vehicle outside a police headquarters, which was then followed by several gunmen disguised as policemen who attempted to storm the compound. At least 30 people were killed and dozens of others wounded in the explosion and shooting. Officials estimated that over 80 had been wounded in the attack.

The attackers had apparently worked together in an attempt to take control of the compound, but were unsuccessful, Brigadier General Natah Mohammed Sabr, the head of the city's emergency services department, told the AFP news agency.

#video#The gunmen, also armed with grenades and suicide vests, tried to force their way into the police headquarters in the chaotic aftermath of the car bombing, Sabr said.

Kirkuk, which lies 290 kilometers (180 miles) north of Baghdad, is an ethnically mixed city at the heart of a dispute over oil and land rights between the central government and the autonomous Kurdish region in the north.

The deadly attack comes amid a widening crisis between the Shiite-led government and Iraq's Sunni minority, who have used a series of protests in recent weeks to call on Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to resign. The minority group is demanding a repeal of laws they claim target Sunnis.

Iraq has experienced frequent attacks since US combat troops withdrew in December 2011, raising fears of a return to the sectarian tensions.

hc/pfd (Reuters, AFP, AP, dpa)