Iraq car bomb attack kills soldiers at army headquarters


Iraqi soldiers Iraqi soldiers have come under attack from insurgents seeking to undermine security before a full US withdrawal. Photograph: Ceerwan Aziz/AP

A car bomb attack on an Iraqi army unit in the volatile Diyala province has killed at least eight soldiers, security sources said, as the Iraqi government continues to battle a stubborn insurgency.

The blast took place near an army headquarters in Kanaan, 45 miles north-east of Baghdad, killing eight soldiers and wounding 12, according to a source in Diyala’s operations command.

Another source said 10 soldiers had been killed and 13 wounded, while Muthana al-Timimi, head of the security committee of the Diyala provincial council, gave the casualty figures as five dead and 10 wounded. He said the blast was caused by a large quantity of explosives placed near government buildings, including the army HQ.

Rescue workers were searching for survivors in the rubble, a witness at the scene told Reuters. The explosion damaged the army headquarters and nearby buildings, he said. "I can see a big hole in the ground and three damaged buildings."

Samira al-Shibli, a spokeswoman for the Diyala provincial governor, said three soldiers had been killed and six wounded.

"It was a parked car bomb attack on an Iraqi army intelligence unit … The sound of the blast was heard in all of the city of Baquba," she said, adding that another car bomb was discovered at the scene but was defused.

Iraqi security sources and officials sometimes give conflicting figures of casualties.

Al-Qaida and other Sunni insurgents are still battling Iraqi security forces in Diyala. A volatile mix of minority Kurds, majority Shias and Sunnis has made it difficult to bring peace there.

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