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Spate of bomb attacks kill 63 across Iraq

08-16-2011 08:23 BJT

BAGHDAD, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- A series of bomb attacks in seven provinces in central and northern Iraq on Monday left a total of 63 people killed and more than 260 wounded in a new escalation of violence in the country several months ahead of the proposed departure of U.S. troops.

The deadliest attack occurred in the city of Kut, some 170 km southeast of capital Baghdad, when a roadside bomb detonated at a marketplace in central the city at about 8:00 a.m. (0500 GMT) and was followed by a car bomb explosion, killing up to 34 people and wounding 64 others, a source from the provincial operations command told Xinhua.

Another deadly attack hit the Iraqi city of Tikrit, the capital of Salahudin province in north of Baghdad, when two suicide bombers entered the provincial counter-terrorism headquarters after they passed the checkpoints with their military uniforms and fake IDs in an attempt to free al-Qaida militants detained in the headquarters' jail.

But the security forces in the compound identified the suicide bombers and traded fire with them, killing one while the other blew up his explosive vest, the source from Salahudin's operations command told Xinhua.

The suicide attack resulted in the killing of three people, including the deputy chief of the headquarters, and the wounding of ten others, the source said.

Authorities of Salahudin province imposed curfew on the city for fear of further attacks, the source added.

Salahudin province, located in northern central Iraq, is a mainly Sunni province. Its capital city of Tikrit, some 170 km north of Baghdad, is the hometown of former President Saddam Hussein.

In Iraq's holy Shi'ite city of Najaf, six people were killed and 58 others wounded when two car bombs successively struck a police station, tasked with protecting the highways, in al-Hussein district in central Najaf, some 160 km south of Baghdad.

Elsewhere, three people were killed and up to 41 wounded in a car bomb explosion near al-Hindiyah police headquarters in eastern the city of Karbala, some 110 km southwest of Baghdad. The blast caused damages to the police building and destroyed several nearby police vehicles and civilian cars.

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