Baquba ambulance suicide bomber targets Iraq police

The attack in Baquba is the second targeting Iraq's security forces in two days

A suicide bomber used an ambulance to attack a police compound in central Iraq, killing up to 14 people, officials said.

Scores more were wounded in the attack in Baquba - the second targeting Iraq's security forces in two days.

On Tuesday, a suicide bomber killed about 60 people at a police recruitment centre in Tikrit, the hometown of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

Violence in Iraq has ebbed in recent years, but deadly attacks persist.

Both Baquba - 65km (40 miles) north-east of Baghdad - and Tikrit are within what is known as the Sunni Triangle, a stronghold of Iraq's insurgency.

'Bodies buried'

Most of those killed in Wednesday morning's attack were police officers, officials said.

One report said two attackers were involved. One stepped out of the ambulance and opened fire on guards at the entrance of the city's special security police centre before the vehicle was driven into the compound and detonated, reports said.

More than 60 injuries were reported, and more people are said to be buried under rubble after the explosion caused a building to collapse.

Timeline: Recent Iraq attacks

  • 25 August 2010: String of attacks targeting Iraqi security forces and checkpoints across the country kill more than 50
  • 19 September 2010: Series of bomb attacks in two neighbourhoods of Baghdad kill more than 20
  • 31 October 2010: Botched hostage-taking at Our Lady of Salvation Syriac Catholic church in Baghdad kills 50
  • 2 November 2010: Series of Baghdad bomb attacks kill 70 people
  • 18 January 2011: Suicide bomb attack on Tikrit police recruitment centre kills at least 60

"There are more bodies buried in the ruins," a spokeswoman for Diyala's governor told Reuters news agency.

The injured included a number of children from a nearby kindergarten, said provincial spokeswoman Samira al-Shibli.

Iraqi police and army recruiting centres are often targeted by suicide bombers.

About an hour later in the nearby town of Ghalbiyah, a suicide bomber targeted a crowd of Shia pilgrims walking from Baghdad to the holy city of Karbala, killing at least two and injuring 15.

Among the wounded was the deputy head of Diyala's provincial council, Sadiq al-Husseini, and three of his bodyguards, reports said.

Anti-Shia attacks had been feared ahead of next week's commemoration of Arbaeen - a 40-day mourning period observed by Shia Muslims for Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad killed at the battle of Karbala in the 7th Century.

Security has been stepped up ahead of the climax of the Shia pilgrimage next week, when hundreds of thousands of pilgrims are expected to converge on Karbala.

Overall violence in Iraq has fallen sharply since the height of the sectarian killings of 2006-07, but shootings and bombings remain a daily occurrence.

US forces formally ended their combat operations last August, ahead of a planned full withdrawal later this year.

More on This Story

Struggle for Iraq

More Middle East stories

RSS

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.