Iraq: At least 16 die in attacks as Turkey bombs Kurdish villages
A bomb went off inside a minibus carrying worshippers to a Shiite shrine on Sunday, killing six people in the Iraqi capital, a police officer said. Separately, police on Sunday reported that a suicide truck bomber followed by dozens of gunmen in a swarm of vehicles launched a coordinated attack on a regional police station north of Baghdad, killing eight Iraqi civilians.
According to the AP, police fatally shot the suicide bomber but his explosives-laden fuel tanker blew up near police headquarters in Samarra, 60 miles north of Baghdad, killing the eight and injuring four other civilians in the late Saturday attack. Soon after after the explosion, some 20 vehicles with at least 60 gunmen drove up to the site and clashed with police, said a police official.
At least three police officers were injured in the ensuing fighting, which ended after U.S. military helicopters flew overhead.
In other violence Sunday, an Iraqi soldier died and four others were hurt when a roadside bomb targeted their patrol in Khan Bani Saad, just northeast of Baghdad in the volatile Diyala province. Near the southern town of Hilla, a police officer was fatally shot by gunmen in a speeding car.
Meanwhile, Turkish forces have started shelling areas across the Iraqi border in the autonomous Kurdish region, an Iraqi officer said on Sunday, as Ankara prepared to seek MPs' approval for a ground incursion. "The shelling began on Saturday night around 10 pm (1900 GMT)," the officer told AFP.
"It carried on sporadically," he said, adding that the shells had struck vacant areas without causing any casualties.
A witness said the shells hit around villages in the Al-Amadiyah area about 15 kilometres from the frontier and 50 kilometres (30 miles) northeast of the town of Dohuk.
A spokesman for the PKK in Iraq, Abdul Rahman al-Jadershi, confirmed the shelling but said that reports the group is crossing into Turkey to launch attacks "are not correct." "We have not left Kurdistan nor are we hitting Turkish targets from Kurdistan ... The other operations are being carried out by our members in Turkey," he told AFP. "Turkey is deploying forces near the border but we are ready to respond and have taken positions."