Truck bomb attack kills 25 in Iraq

June 20th, 2009 - 8:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Baghdad, June 20 (DPA) At least 25 people were killed when a truck packed with explosives detonated outside a mosque near the disputed northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk Saturday, the police said.
At least 110 others were wounded in the blast outside the Shia Rasul mosque in Taza, some 30 km south of Kirkuk, police in Kirkuk told DPA.

Police added that the explosion caused “severe damage” to the mosque and nearby buildings, and that casualties were still arriving at hospitals in Kirkuk.

Taza is predominantly populated by members of Iraq’s Turkoman minority.

Kirkuk, with its rich oil reserves, has for decades been the subject of dispute between Iraqi Kurds, many of whom hope to make it the capital of an independent Kurdistan, and the government in Baghdad, which views it as an integral part of Iraq.

Turkoman parties have vehemently opposed the city’s incorporation into an independent Kurdistan. In July 2008, a spokesman for the Turkoman Front told the Iraqi Kurdish newspaper Chawder that his constituents would “rather be part of China than Kurdistan”.

Thousands of Iraqis displaced from Kirkus in the Saddam era have returned to the area since the 2003 US invasion, but the country has repeatedly delayed taking a decision on Kirkuk’s future. The region did not participate in January’s provincial council elections.

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