Iraqi officials say a suicide bomber has detonated a vehicle at a police compound in the central city of Samarra, killing 12 officers and wounding at least 22 other people.

The officials said the suicide car bombing happened Monday outside a building housing a rapid response police unit.  

Iraqi authorities deployed special police teams in Samarra to boost security for a Shi'ite pilgrimage earlier this month. Samarra is home to a gold-domed shrine of a 9th century imam revered by Iraqi Shi'ites.

In another development, authorities in northern Iraq say one person was killed and scores were wounded in fighting between Kurdish security forces and opposition activists protesting against the two ruling parties of the autonomous region.

Officials said security forces fired into the air late Sunday in the city of Sulaimaniyah, as more than 1,500 protesters denounced the political dominance of the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. They said gunfire killed a 17-year-old demonstrator and wounded at least eight other people.

A previous protest outside the Kurdistan Democratic Party's Sulaimaniyah headquarters turned violent last Thursday, when security personnel fired at demonstrators, killing two and wounding many others.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

Special Project

More Coverage