A gang of militants accidentally set off their own car bomb at a training camp north of Baghdad, leaving 21 dead, Iraqi officials have said.
Authorities found seven car bombs — all without plates — several explosive belts and roadside bombs after searching two houses and a garage in the dense area, offering a rare glimpse into the workings of militants behind a resurgence in violence in the country. Bomb experts began working immediately to defuse the explosives.
Security forces rushed to the area after hearing the explosion and arrested 22 men trying to flee the area, including several who had been wounded.
In the city of Mosul to the north, meanwhile, the Speaker of parliament – one of the most prominent Sunni officials in Iraq – escaped unhurt from a roadside bomb attack on his motorcade.
Car bombs are one of the deadliest weapons used by the al-Qa’ida breakaway group which dominates the Sunni insurgency in Iraq, with co-ordinated waves of explosions regularly leaving scores dead in Baghdad and other cities across the country.
Additional reporting by AP