At least 35 dead in blasts as Turkey vows to fight ”terror” also on Iraqi soil

Published June 8th, 2007 - 03:30 GMT

Two double bomb attacks killed at least 35 people in Iraq on Friday, while gunmen raided the home of a police chief, massacring his wife, brother and 12 bodyguards and seizing his children.


A twin bomb attack on a Shiite mosque near the northern oil city of Kirkuk killed at least 19 people and injured 22, police and medical official said. In another dual attack, near the southern Iraqi city of Basra, 16 people were killed and 32 wounded.


Police said a suicide bomber detonated his explosives inside the Al-Thikalain Husseiniyah shrine in the town of Dakuk, south of Kirkuk, at around 2:00 pm (1000 GMT), about the same time as a car bomb went off outside the building.

Major General Torhan Yussef, chief of Kirkuk police, said the bombing left 19 people dead, five of them members of a family living near the mosque.


In a separate incident west of Kirkuk, armed men killed an Iraqi army officer and his two-year-old daughter, police Lieutenant Mohammed Abdullah of the Hawijah police said.


At least 16 people died and 30 were injured on Friday in two near simultaneous vehicle bombs north of Basra, the southern Iraqi city, police and medical officials told AFP. The blasts -- a bomb in a minibus at a bus station and a car bomb in a market -- rocked the town of Al-Khurna, 60 kilometres north of Basra, at around 7:30 am (0330 GMT), officials said.


The latest bloodshed comes after dozens of people were killed on Thursday, including 14 in a brutal raid on the home of Colonel Ali al-Jurani, chief of emergency police unit of the restive Diyala province.


Meanwhile, Turkey's General Staff voiced on Friday its determination to fight terrorism and said it had had an unquestionable right to respond as it saw fit to attacks by Kurdish militants. The statement, posted on the General Staff's Web site, also referred directly to comments by army chief General Yasar Buyukanit two months ago, in which he called on the government to allow troops to cross into northern Iraq to crush the rebels.


"The Turkish Armed Forces have an unshakeable determination to fight terrorism and it is an incontrovertible reality that we will respond to these kind of attacks," the statement said.


On Monday, seven paramilitary police were killed when PKK rebels attacked their headquarters in Tunceli province in eastern Turkey in the deadliest single strike in about a year.


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