Wednesday, January 19, 2011

At least 12 dead in another attack on Iraq's security forces

Insurgents targeted Iraq's security forces Wednesday for the second time in two days, when a suicide bomber drove an ambulance packed with explosives into a training center in the city of Baqubah, north of Baghdad.

At least 12 people were killed and more than 70 injured in the early morning attack, said Lt Col. Ghalib Attiyah, police spokesman for the province of Diyala. The bombing targeted a facility that is part of the Force Protection Service, responsible for protecting state institutions and dignitaries.

Also in Diyala on Wednesday, a man wearing an explosives vest detonated the explosives next to the convoy of a top provincial official, who was visiting a gathering of pilgrims held to mark the upcoming Shiite religious festival of Ashura.

The blast killed two and injured 15, including Sadiq al-Hussaini, the deputy chairman of Diyala's provincial council.

The bombings came a day after a suicide attack that killed at least 60 people who were lining up to join the police force in Saddam Hussein's home town of Tikrit. They added to fears of a renewed campaign by Sunni extremists against Iraqi security forces and government officials.

On Monday, a suicide bomber killed one person in an attack on the convoy of the governor of Anbar province, in western Iraq.

Suicide attacks are generally blamed on the extremist al-Qaeda in Iraq organization, which, although greatly weakened, maintains a stubbornly persistent presence in central and western Iraq.

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