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Violence in Iraq Kills 50 Kurds Near Baquba, Police Chief in Anbar


A woman gestures next to vehicles destroyed in a car bomb attack in the Shaoula neighbourhood of Baghdad, Oct. 12, 2014.

There was more violence in Iraq Sunday, with at least 50 members of Kurdish security forces killed in three suicide car bomb attacks and a police chief killed by a roadside bomb in restive Anbar province.

The car bombs exploded at an Iraqi government compound north of Baquba in Qara Tappah as Kurdish military veterans were volunteering to re-enlist.

Authorities said one car bomber detonated an explosives vest at the gateway to the compound, with two others driving explosive-laden cars into the facility minutes later.

At least 60 people were injured in the attacks.

Massive blasts

A member of the Municipal Council of Qara Tappah, Salahaddin Baban, told VOA's Kurdish news service that the blasts were massive and killed people 100 meters away. He said the explosions destroyed three buildings and killed people inside.

Hours later, the militant Islamic State group claimed responsibility, saying the suicide bombers were three non-Iraqi jihadists.

In Anbar, Brigadier General Ahmed al-Dulaimi was killed while traveling near the provincial capital of Ramadi in an area that had supposedly been cleared by Iraqi security forces the day before.

The deputy governor warned that most of Anbar is now under the Islamic State group's control and that the provincial capital, Ramadi, could soon fall without more coalition airstrikes.

Iraqi authorities said the territory where the attack occurred is one of the few areas between Baghdad and the Syrian border that is not controlled by the Islamic State insurgents who have taken over large swaths of land in Iraq and Syria.

The police chief had been leading efforts to retake Twei from the militants.

Ramadi, Anbar province

In Baghdad, Iraqi security spokesman Saad Maan told Iraqi TV that the capital's operations command was conducting joint operations with security forces in Anbar province.

Maan said that government forces plan to call in airstrikes to help defend the Iraqi garrison in Ramadi.

Further south, Islamic State militants are battling Iraqi security forces even closer to Baghdad, clashing in the suburb of Abu Ghraib.

On Saturday, Iraqi police said a suicide bomber detonated his explosives at a market north of Baghdad, killing at least seven people and wounding about 20 others.

Saturday's attack took place near the town of Meshahda, an area that has been the scene of clashes between Iraqi forces and Islamic State fighters.

Edward Yeranian contributed to this report from Cairo. Also, some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.