Iraq car bombing: Suicide blast north of Baghdad 'kills at least 14 people'

'We still have charred bodies inside many vehicles including a minibus packed with women and children' police officer says

Iraqis look at a damaged building on October 6, 2015, a day after a blast in a market area of Khalis, around 55 kilometres from the capital Baghdad
Iraqis look at a damaged building on October 6, 2015, a day after a blast in a market area of Khalis, around 55 kilometres from the capital Baghdad

At least 14 people including women and children have been killed in a suicide car bomb attack on a checkpoint outside a central Iraqi town.

A police officer said most of the victims died inside their vehicles while waiting to enter Khalis, a town around 80km (50 miles) north of Baghdad.

"We still have charred bodies inside many vehicles including a minibus packed with women and children," the police captain told Reuters, requesting anonymity.

Eight policemen and six civilians were killed, with up to 41 people wounded, officers said.

Hospital sources said the death toll was expected to rise given the extent of critical injuries.

There has been no immediate claim of responsibility, though Isis have increased their attacks as they incur battlefield defeats in northern and western Iraq.

The attack comes a day after at least 20 people were killed when an Isis suicide bomber attacked a busy security checkpoint in Baghdad.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has come under pressure to improve security after nearly 300 people were killed in July in a car bombing in Baghdad claimed by Isis - the worst terror attack to hit the capital since the Iraq war.

The terror group has lost much of the territory it seized in 2014, and Mr Abadi has pledged to retake the northern city of Mosul, the group's de facto capital in Iraq.

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