Senior Turkmen killed in Iraq blast

Senior Turkmen killed in Iraq blast

KIRKUK - Agence France-Presse
Senior Turkmen killed in Iraq blast

Civilians gather at the site of a car bomb attack in Baghdad's Husseiniya district, June 25, 2013. REUTERS photo

Two suicide bombers blew themselves up inside a tent packed with protesters in north Iraq June 25, killing at least 11 people, including the deputy head of Iraqi Turkmen Front, and wounding 55 others, officials said.

The attackers struck at around mid-day near a group of Turkmen demonstrators protesting near tents set up for mourners in the ethnically-mixed town of Tuz Khurmatu. Among the dead were a former deputy provincial governor and his two sons, as well as a former provincial councilor.

Deputy Head of Iraqi Turkmen Front Ali Hasim Muhtaroğlu has been also killed. The protesters had been rallying over poor security in the town, which is regularly hit with attacks. Tuz Khurmatu lies within a tract of territory that Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) wants to incorporate into its three-province region over Baghdad’s objections.

Also yesterday, a magnetic “sticky bomb” attached to a minibus went off as Shiite Muslim pilgrims were on their way to the holy shrine city of Karbala. Three people were killed and 15 were wounded when the bomb went off near the town of Iskandiriyah, south of Baghdad. Early in the morning, meanwhile, gunmen wounded two guards outside a Syriac church in east Baghdad.

Yesterday’s attacks came a day after a wave of car bombs across the Iraqi capital and unrest north of Baghdad killed 35 people, with the country struggling with a prolonged political deadlock and violence at its worst levels since 2008.

Attacks have increased markedly since the beginning of the year, coinciding with rising discontent among the Sunnis that erupted into protests in late December.