Ten Iraqi policemen were killed and 22 others wounded when they were targeted by a suicide car bomber as they headed home from protecting an oil installation today, said a police commander.
“The policemen were travelling home on a bus when they were targeted by a suicide car bomber,” in the south of the city around 5pm (local time), said Lieutenant Colonel Ghazi Mohammad Rashid.
“All that was left of the bus were its seats, the officers’ Kalashnikovs, and human body parts.”
All the casualties were members of the Oil Protection Force, a department of Iraq’s police, and had been working for the state-owned North Oil Company, added Rashid.
Half of the 31,000 strong oil protection force safeguard the nation’s pipelines and the remainder provide security at refineries and gas stations across the country.
Today’s attack was the worst in Kirkuk since December 11, when 55 people were killed and 95 wounded when a suicide bomber targeted a restaurant near the northern city, which is located 255 kilometres north of Baghdad.
Today’s suicide bombing was the latest in a series of deadly attacks that have shattered a recent improvement in security in Iraq.