Bomb attacks kill 45 in Iraq


Baghdad : At least 45 people were killed and 59 injured Tuesday in attacks, including a bloody suicide and car bomb attack in Iraq’s restive Diyala province, in some of the worst violence the country has witnessed in recent months.

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A simultaneous suicide and bomb attack in Diyala province killed at least 35 people. Around 47 people were injured in the attack.

A suicide bomber got out of a car and detonated himself amid a crowd of police recruits standing in front of a police station in Jalawla town, some 60 km northeast of the Iraqi capital, witnesses told DPA.

Seconds after the man detonated his vest, the car loaded with explosives blew up, the witnesses said.

Also in Diyala, four members members of the same family were killed and a fifth was injured when a bomb exploded near their car in Balad Rus town, 45 km southwest of the provincial capital Baquba.

Diyala province, located northeast of Baghdad, is considered a bastion for Sunni insurgents and Al Qaeda terrorists in Iraq.

The rising level of violence in Iraq in August was a reflection of recent “strong punches” against Al Qaeda and militant groups, a high- ranked security official told DPA Tuesday.

“Al Qaeda will be using the last of its remaining power within the coming days, especially after the fall of the majority of its leaders who were arrested or fled,” the official, who declined to be named, said.

“Al Qaeda’s role in creating sectarian strife has almost come to an end because of the Iraqi forces’ determination to defeat Al Qaeda by the end of this year,” he added.

He said Iraqi forces were now able to enter areas of Baquba held by militants for five years. “This is a major achievement,” the official said.

In a separate development, a car bomb targeting a police patrol in Salahaddin province killed two civilians and injured 12, police officer Abdullah Qatan told the Voice of Iraq news agency.

Four police officers were among the injured in the attack in Tikrit in the north of the province, the agency reported.

In central Salahaddin, a car exploded at a health centre, killing four people, including two security men, police officer Hassan Ahmed told DPA.

A preliminary casualty count showed six people had been injured, he said.

Ahmed said the attack appeared to be aimed at the centre’s director, Hassan Zein al-Abdin, who is also a member of Iraq’s Supreme Islamic Council. Al-Abdin was not at the centre at the time of the attack.