Checkpoint blasts kill 15 in northern Iraq

June 09, 2014 - 12:59:42 pm

KIRKUK: A roadside bomb followed by a suicide bomber detonating an explosives-rigged truck at a police checkpoint in northern Iraq killed 15 people on Monday, a local official said.

The official, Shallal Abdul Baban, told AFP the blasts in Tuz Khurmatu also wounded 115 people and caused "great destruction".

The police checkpoint that was targeted was near an office of President Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party.

The blasts came a day after a car bomb followed by a suicide bombing near a PUK office and a Kurdish intelligence building in Jalawla, another northern town, killed 18 people.

Powerful jihadist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant claimed the Jalawla attack in a statement posted on Twitter, and said it was carried out by two suicide bombers, one Egyptian and an Iraqi Kurd.

Violence is running at its highest levels since 2006-2007, when tens of thousands were killed in sectarian conflict between Iraq's Shiite majority and Sunni Arab minority.

More than 900 people were killed last month, according to figures separately compiled by the United Nations and the government.

So far this year, more than 4,600 people have been killed, according to AFP figures.

Officials blame external factors for the rising bloodshed, particularly the civil war in neighbouring Syria.

But analysts say widespread Sunni Arab anger with the Shiite-led government has also been a major factor.  (AFP)

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