Two separate suicide attacks, including one apparently targeting workers in a northern oil hub, killed at least 35 people in Iraq on Tuesday, shattering more than a week of relative calm, local and U.S. military authorities said.
In Beiji, about 250 kilometres north of Baghdad, a bomber driving a pickup truck detonated explosives when Iraqi police and members of a volunteer force prevented him from entering the gate of a compound belonging to the state-run North Oil Company, a police officer said.
The attack killed 25 people and wounded 80, police and hospital officials said. Most of the dead were civilians, and at least four were children, a police officer said. The dead also included guards of the oil company and members of a volunteer security force.
Local authorities said they feared more victims might be buried in the rubble of two buildings damaged by the bomb.
In Baqouba, 55 kilometres northeast of Baghdad, 10 people were killed and five people were wounded in a suicide bombing, the U.S. military said. Baqouba police said Dr. Ahmed Fuad of Baqouba hospital put the death toll at nine.
Local officials said a bomber wearing an explosives vest targeted a funeral procession for two members of an Awakening Council group — fighters who have turned against al-Qaeda in Iraq — who were accidentally killed by U.S. troops during a dawn raid.
Although bombings and other attacks continue throughout the country, their number has fallen, according to the U.S.military, which saysthere has been a 60 per cent decrease in violence since June.
The U.S. led the invasion of Iraq in 2003 to oust Saddam Hussein and his government.