22 killed, 187 injured in Kirkuk suicide bombing

By Xinhua,

Baghdad : Up to 22 people were killed and 187 others injured in a suicide bomb attack which targeted a demonstration in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Monday, a local police source said.

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“Up to 22 people were killed and 187 others injured by the suicide bomb attack in Kirkuk,” Brigadier Burhan Wasif, a police chief of the city told Xinhua.

A suicide bomber blew up his explosive-belt among a crowd of Kurdish people demonstrating in front of the government building in the center of Kirkuk, some 250 km north of Baghdad, the source said.

The attack targeted demonstrators who rallied to protest the passage of a controversial law on the provincial election by the Iraqi parliament, Wasif said.

On July 22, the Iraqi parliament approved a key provincial election bill, despite a walk-out by lawmakers from the Kurdish coalition bloc.

After the explosion, dozens of angry protestors attacked the offices of a Turkish political party in the city with small arms fire and machine guns, setting fire to one of the offices and wounding six guards inside, Wasif said.

The protestors also set ablaze 15 civilian cars of the party officials, he added.

Wasif said the security situation in the oil-rich city is now under control after Iraqi police forces deployed in its main streets and government buildings.

The Turkish and Arab minorities in the city oppose Kurdish claims to annex Kirkuk to their autonomous region in northern Iraq.