A suicide bomber blew himself up inside a bus travelling from the northern Iraqi city of Mosul to Syria on Tuesday, killing at least nine passengers, an Iraqi army officer told AFP. According to Iraqi army Lieutenant Colonel Jalal Dosky, the attack took place near a checkpoint in an area called Smeirath, 80 kilometres north of Mosul, the officials said.
Meanwhile, a group of armed men set up a fake checkpoint north of Iraq's town of Baquba and kidnapped 21 civilians travelling in two minibuses on Tuesday, police said. Police Lieutenant Colonel Najim al-Sumaidaie from Baquba told AFP the checkpoint was erected in an area called Al-Adaim, 60 kilometres north of Baquba in the Diyala province, northeast of Baghdad.
"At about 10:00 am (0700 GMT) several armed men stopped a minibus carrying 11 men and three women at the checkpoint. They released the women but abducted the men," Sumaidaie said. He said minutes later another minibus was stopped by the kidnappers and 10 men travelling in it were also abducted.
He said the two buses had come from the northern oil city of Kirkuk and were on way to Baghdad passing through Diyala.