January 20, 2011 in Nation/World

Wave of Iraq bomb attacks continues, hits Sunnis hard

Ned Parker And Salar Jaff Los Angeles Times
 
Associated Press photo

An Iraqi policeman stands where a suicide attacker driving an explosives-packed ambulance crashed into a guard force headquarters in Baqouba, Iraq, Wednesday.
(Full-size photo)

BAGHDAD – A car bomb leveled the headquarters of a local security force in Iraq’s Diyala province on Wednesday, killing as many as 14 people. In a separate attack, a bomber wounded the deputy head of Diyala’s provincial council and killed three others.

It was the third straight day of attacks around the country, most targeting places where Iraq’s minority Sunnis, once a bedrock of the country’s insurgency, have decided to participate in government. On Tuesday, a bomber killed 60 people seeking jobs with the police in Tikrit, the hometown of the late leader Saddam Hussein. The day before, the Sunni governor of western Anbar province survived a bomb attack on his convoy.

In one of Wednesday’s attacks, the bomber had sped his car inside the headquarters compound of the Facilities Protection Service, a special force responsible for guarding public buildings and smaller state offices. The blast demolished the building in Baqouba, Diyala’s capital.

“It seems that he was trying to destroy many buildings and to kill as many as he can, and he succeeded,” said Gen. Hisham Tamimi, a local security commander.

One witness said that the suicide bomber was driving an ambulance, which he crashed through the compound’s gates and then exploded.

A spokesperson for Diyala, Sameera Shibli, put the death toll at 14 and the number of wounded at 64. The head of the province’s health department said five people had died and that an additional 135 were wounded.

Separately, the deputy chairman of the provincial council, Sadiq Jaffar, was wounded in a town in the vicinity of Baqouba when a suicide car bomb exploded near a tent where the Shiite politician was meeting religious pilgrims on their way south to the Shiite shrine city of Karbala. At least three people were killed and 26 wounded in the blast, officials said.


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