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Iraq: Death toll from huge suicide blast soars

  • Story Highlights
  • Death toll from Iraq truck suicide bombing climbs to at least 80
  • Deadliest attack this year also leaves more than 200 injured
  • Bomb exploded Saturday in the town of Taza, southwest of Kirkuk
From Mohammed Tawfeeq
CNN
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The death toll from Saturday's suicide truck bombing in northern Iraq -- the deadliest single attack this year -- has risen to 80, a police official said.

The blast wounded 211 people and destroyed at least 50 buildings near Kirkuk, including shops and houses, the official said.

It occurred in a busy area near a mosque in the town of Taza, about 10 miles southwest of Kirkuk and 149 miles north of Baghdad. Taza is inhabited predominantly by Shiite Turkmen.

After the attack, additional checkpoints were set up around the city and nearby towns, including Taza, a Kirkuk police official said.

A committee made up of army and police will investigate the bombing, the official said.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki called the attack a "heinous terrorist crime."

And in a joint statement Sunday, U.S. Ambassador Christopher Hill and Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of the Multi-National Force - Iraq, said they "strongly condemn" the bombing, calling it "savage."

"The murder of innocent civilians will only deepen the resolve of the people of Iraq to reject those who offer nothing but violence and hate," the statement said.

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