Suicide bomber kills 15 traffic policemen in Iraq

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The Independent Online

A suicide car bomber has killed at least 15 traffic policemen and wounded about 100 more outside the unit's headquarters in the northern Kurdish city of Irbil.

A suicide car bomber has killed at least 15 traffic policemen and wounded about 100 more outside the unit's headquarters in the northern Kurdish city of Irbil.

Iraq's insurgency does not appear to have been disrupted by two massive US-Iraqi military offensives against militant smuggling routes and training centres west and north of Baghdad, mounting attacks that have killed at least 73 in the past two days, including 28 people yesterday.

The bomber in Irbil wore a police uniform and slammed his car into a gathering of 200 traffic policemen during morning roll call in a courtyard behind the headquarters at 8am.

The attack was on a main street leading to the oil-rich northern city of Kirkuk, which is south of Irbil.

Irbil, one of two major cities in Iraq's northern Kurdish region, has enjoyed autonomous rule under Western protection since 1991.

The attack came a day after a suicide bomber walked into a crowded kebab restaurant near the heavily fortified main gate of the US and Iraqi government headquarters in Baghdad, killing at least 23 people - the deadliest attack in the capital in just over six weeks. A total of 45 people were killed in insurgent assaults throughout the country on Sunday.

The suicide attackers have no qualms about killing other Muslims, including women and children, in order to destabilise the Shia-led government of the Prime Minister, Ibrahim al-Jaafari. The rate of insurgent attacks has risen sharply since Mr Jaafari announced his cabinet on 28 April. At least 1,180 people have been killed since then.

Early yesterday, insurgents assaulted a police station in Baghdad, killing at least eight policemen and an eight-month-old baby.

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