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Suicide car bomb kills 25 in Iraq

  • Story Highlights
  • Police chief dismissed from his post as a result of attack in Baiji
  • The suicide car bombing kills at least 25, injures 80 others
  • Second suicide attack on funeral procession kills nine in Baquba
  • Turkey says its forces killed at least 150 Kurdish rebels in Iraq this month
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Dozens of people picking up cylinders of cooking gas were victims of a suicide car bomb attack Tuesday morning in the northern Iraqi city of Baiji.

The explosion killed at least 25 people and wounded 80 others, a Salaheddin police official told CNN.

A suicide car bomber slammed into a truck loaded with cooking gas cylinders at a checkpoint manned by Iraqi soldiers and members of a local Awakening Council -- a grass-roots movement that fights al Qaeda in Iraq.

A number of people were killed in secondary explosions when cooking gas cylinders exploded, the police official said.

Iraqi security forces and U.S.-led coalition forces were on the scene of the attack. A U.S. military statement said the casualty toll was 20 dead and 80 wounded. Video Watch medics care for injured Iraqis »

"The enemy is making last-ditch efforts to derail and discredit the local Iraqi security forces by targeting innocent citizens of Baiji," said Lt. Col. Peter Wilhelm, commander of the 1st Battalion, 327th Regiment.

Baiji Police Chief Saad Nufoos was dismissed from his post as a result of the attack, according to an Iraqi Interior Ministry official.

Baiji is about 125 miles (200 kilometers) north of Baghdad.

In a second suicide attack, a bomber blew himself up in the middle of a funeral procession in western Baquba, killing nine people and wounding 20 others, a Baquba police official said. Casualties included members of another Awakening Council.

Among the dead was the local head of the Brigades of 20th Revolution, a former Sunni insurgent group that is now an ally of the U.S. military. Video See damage and injuries from both bombings »

According to police, the funeral was for Auday Mohammed Hassan, also an Awakening Council member whom the U.S. military mistakenly killed hours earlier.

Baquba is in Diyala province about 35 miles (56 kilometers) north of Baghdad.

Al Qaeda in Iraq fighters have launched aggressive attacks against Awakening Councils in Diyala province in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military said that 13 insurgents were killed and 27 others were detained in raids Monday and Tuesday targeting al Qaeda in Iraq.

"We continue to disrupt al Qaeda networks that are conducting attacks against the Iraqi people and the security forces that protect them," said Maj. Winfield Danielson, spokesman for the Multi-National Force-Iraq, the formal name for the U.S.-led forces.

"Operations like these show that, while al Qaeda remains a threat, Iraqi and coalition forces will take the fight to the terrorists, diminishing their ability to attack innocent civilians."

Also Tuesday, the Turkish military said its forces have killed between 150 and 175 Kurdish militants in northern Iraq operations this month.

In a statement, the military said that more than 200 Kurdish rebel positions were struck in Iraq's Kurdish region.

Turkey has been targeting rebels from the Kurdistan Workers' Party, which has been launching cross-border attacks against Turkey from Iraq.

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Jamal Abdullah, the spokesman of Iraq's Kurdish regional government, denied reports that strikes took place Tuesday.

He said that Turkish surveillance aircraft carried out a reconnaissance mission over the Iraqi border near a village in Duhuk province. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq and Talia Kayali contributed to this report.

All About Al Qaeda in IraqSuicide AttacksIraq WarKurdish Politics

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