Car bombing kills 11 in northern Iraq

Associated Press / April 16, 2009
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BAGHDAD - A car bomb exploded yesterday near a government security convoy in the northern oil city of Kirkuk, killing at least 11 guards and wounding about 20 other people, police said.

The city is the center of Iraq's vast northern oil fields and the focus of an ethnic power struggle. The majority Kurds want to incorporate the area into their self-ruled northern region, and other ethnic groups want to remain under central government control.

The parked car exploded as a four-vehicle convoy of the state-owned Northern Gas Company was driving by, said police spokesman Brigadier General Sarhat Qadir.

All the dead were members of a government security agency that provides guards to the gas company. The wounded included 13 guards and eight civilians, Qadir said.

Several shops, buildings, and private cars were also damaged in the explosion.

Al Qaeda and other extremist groups operate in northern Iraq and have all used car bombings as a tactic.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack.