Three suicide bombings hit Iraq

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The Independent Online

Three suicide car bombings killed 20 people in northern Iraq today, including a top municipal council leader and a bodyguard of Iraq's Kurdish deputy prime minister.

Three suicide car bombings killed 20 people in northern Iraq today, including a top municipal council leader and a bodyguard of Iraq's Kurdish deputy prime minister.

At least 12 people were killed in a massive explosion targeting a restaurant at breakfast-time in Tuz Khormato, 55 miles south of the northern city of Kirkuk, the Iraqi defence ministry said in a statement. Police Lt. Sabah Hidayat said at least 40 people were also wounded.

The suicide bombing tore apart the town's Baghdad Restaurant, where bodyguards of Iraq's Kurdish deputy prime minister, Rowsch Nouri Shaways, were eating, said police Brig. Sarhad Qadre.

Col. Abbas Mohamed Amin, chief of Tuz Khormato police, believed the suicide bomber, who was driving a white Toyota sedan, was following the Kurdish leader's bodyguards, who had left Baghdad for the northern city of Sulaimaniyah, 160 miles north-east of the capital.

In the northern city of Kirkuk, a suicide car bomber killed four Iraqi bystanders and wounded at least 11 others, said Dr. Bassam Mohammed of Kirkuk Emergency Hospital. The explosion targeted a convoy of Toyota Land Cruisers carrying civilian contractors, damaging one of the vehicles but injuring none of its occupants, the US military said.

Further south in Baqouba, about 35 miles north-east of Baghdad, another suicide bomber killed four people, including Hussein Alwan al-Tamimi, 41, deputy head of Iraq's northeastern Diyala provincial council, police Col. Mudhafar Mohammed said. Three of his bodyguards also died in the attack on his convoy and four people were wounded.

Continuing violence during the past days has also claimed the lives of three children, a US soldier and a Sunni Muslim cleric, underscoring the rampant, random nature of an insurgency that has killed at least 797 people since the 28 April announcement of Iraq's new Shiite-led government, according to an Associated Press count.

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