12 killed in Mosul suicide blast

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At least 12 people were killed and 25 wounded when a suicide bomber hit a major police station in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul today.

Many of the dead and injured were motorists waiting to buy petrol at a nearby fuel station, police said.

Authorities imposed an indefinite curfew after the attack on Abi Tamam police station at 7.15am. Police fired into the air in several parts of the city, forcing motorists and pedestrians to scurry for cover.

Police. Col. Khalaf Ismail said the bomber was trying to slam a fuel tanker he was driving into the station when he was shot dead by a policeman, igniting the fuel in his vehicle and setting off the explosives.

The station commander, Col. Abed Hamed al-Jibouri, said the massive blast caused damage to the police station and destroyed as many as 42 cars waiting to buy petrol.

At least two policemen were among those killed in the attack, al-Jibouri said.

Queues outside filling stations are routine in Iraq because of persistent fuel shortages.

The US military, meanwhile, announced today that a soldier was killed in combat in Anbar province, the insurgent stronghold west of the capital.

It was the 71st death of an American servicemember in October, putting it on course to be the bloodiest month for US forces in nearly two years.

The soldier of the 1st Brigade, 1st Armoured Division died yesterday, the military said.