17 killed, 133 wounded in bomb attacks in northern Iraq

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Up to 17 people were killed and 133 wounded in two bomb attacks targeting offices of Kurdish parties in northern Iraq on Wednesday, the police said.

In one of the attacks, a suicide bomber drove his explosive- laden truck into the entrance of the office of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), headed by the regional Kurdish president Masoud Barzani, in Atlas Street in a commercial area in the city of Kirkuk, some 250 km north of Baghdad, a local police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The powerful blast killed up to 15 people and wounded more than 105, many of them were officials and security members at the Kurdish office, the source said.

The toll could rise as many of the victims were transported by ambulances and civilian cars to hospitals and medical centers in the city, the source added.

Earlier, the source put the toll at five killed and 90 wounded.

In a separate incident, at least two people were killed and 28 wounded in a car bomb explosion near the office of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), a Kurdish party headed by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, in the city of Tuz-Khurmato, some 200 km north of Baghdad, a local police source anonymously told Xinhua.

The ethnically mixed cities of Kirkuk and Tuz-Khurmato are part of disputed areas claimed both by the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan and Baghdad central government.

High-profile bomb attacks are still common in the Iraqi cities despite the dramatic decrease in violence since its peak in 2006 and 2007, when the country was engulfed in sectarian killings.

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