At least 20 people died and another 42 were hurt in two suicide bombings targeting police and security forces in northern Iraq on Thursday, officials said. A man in a explosives-packed jacket blew himself up at a recruitment centre in Sinjar, a town west of Mosul on the road to Syria, and killed 17 people, officials said, according to AFP.
Interior ministry spokesman Major General Abdul Kareem Khalaf said that the bomber targeted a centre that recruited personnel for the police and security services in the area. Hospital sources said about 30 people were wounded.
A few hours earlier, a suicide bomber drove into a group of police officers and detonated his explosives in Al-Gabat, just north of Mosul, police Captain Aziz Imara conveyed. At least three people, including two policemen, were killed and 12 people were wounded, he said.
Meanwhile, the US military announced on Thursday the withdrawal of another 4,000 "surge" troops from Iraq. It said the latest pullout was to be completed by next month. "The brigade played an integral role in establishing the conditions for long-term security in Iraq by reducing violence in the Diyala province by 70 percent," the military said in a statement.