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Suicide bomb blast at Iraq gas plant

May 15, 2016

Militants have launched an attack on a state-run natural gas plant in the northern outskirts of the Iraqi capital, killing at least 11 people, including police officers. More than a dozen people were hurt in the blast.

Irak Selbstmordanschlag Taji Gaswerk
Image: Getty Images/AFP/S. Arar

A suicide car bomb exploded at the entranceway of the facility, located in the Baghdad suburb of Taji, on Sunday, allowing another vehicle carrying at least six other attackers with explosive vests to enter the compound, where they clashed with security forces, police sources told the Reuters news agency.

Three of the facility's gas storage centers were set alight amid the violence before security officials were able to bring the situation under control, a spokesperson for Baghdad Operations Command said.

Map showing Taji

Flames and black smoke could be seen coming from inside the gas complex following the explosion, a factory employee who lives near to the facility told Reuters.

Police and army personnel rushed to the factory, where gunfire could be heard for about an hour, the unnamed worker added.

There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but "Islamic State" (IS) militants, who control large areas of the country's north and west, have conducted similar bombings this week that left around 100 dead.

Irak Selbstmordanschlag Taji Gaswerk
No group has yet claimed responsibility for Sunday's attackImage: Getty Images/AFP/S. Arar

Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said Saturday that militants had taken advantage of the country's political crisis, sparked by his attempt to change its quota-based governing system.

A US-led coalition backing the Iraqi government in its fight against IS has been training army forces for months at a military base located in Taji.

jlw/tj (Reuters, AP)