Bomb blasts in Iraq threaten Shias and security forces
An young Iraqi stands next to the destruction following two bomb blasts near a Shia place of worship in the flashpoint town of Tuz Khurmatu in the Kirkuk province on Monday. (AFP PHOTO/MARWAN IBRAHIM)
A series of deadly car bombings in Iraq, targeting Shia places of worship and police officers, killed at least 20 and left dozens injured on Monday. The bombings follow yesterday's blasts that left 19 dead, a year after US forces officially ended military operations.
Gunmen attacked a police checkpoint on a highway west of Tikrit, killing one officer and wounding three others before detonating a car bomb which killed four and wounded a further two police.
Three Iraqi soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb in Al-Buslaibi village near Baghdad while on patrol, according to the military. A car bomb in Khaznah near Mosul, home to the minority Shabak community, killed seven and wounded 12. Two car bombs in the hotly contested northern town of Tuz Khurmatu killed five and wounded 20.
These latest attacks follow a spate of blasts on Sunday, which targeted Shia places of worship in Kirkuk and a local branch of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in Jalawla.
Arabs and Kurds both claim Jalawla, situated some 125km northeast of Baghdad, as their own. The town lies in an area that the country's autonomous Kurdistan regional government is seeking to incorporate, despite strong objections from Baghdad.