Dozens killed in attacks in Iraq

Iraqis inspect the site of an explosion on January 16, 2013 in Kirkuk.

Story highlights

  • NEW: Violence in Baghdad targets police officers, kills mother and daughter
  • More than 100 are wounded
  • There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
  • Another attack hits south of Kirkuk

A series of bombings killed dozens and left more than 100 wounded in northern Iraq on Wednesday in violence that seemed targeted at Kurdish government officials.

Death tolls and details varied about the attacks in Kirkuk.

Police said the attacks, including a suicide bombing near the offices of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, left 27 dead and more than 100 wounded.

Read more: Mourners in Turkey protest killings of Kurdish activists

But local health officials said 50 were killed in attacks in the oil-rich city.

At least one of the attacks was aimed at the Kurdistan Democratic Party, police said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

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Also Wednesday, three people were killed and 15 wounded in a car bomb attack at the offices of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan in Tuz Khurmato, 90 kilometers (56 miles) south of Kirkuk.

Read more: Dozens killed in attacks in Iraq

Tuz Khurmato, a mixed town of Arab, Kurds and Turkemn, is disputed between the central government and Iraq' semiautonomous Kurdistan region.

The oil-rich Kirkuk, about 20 kilometers north of Baghdad, has been the scene of tensions recently. It is also one of the disputed areas in the country between the central government and Kurdistan regional government.

At the end of last year, relations between Prime Minister Nuri al-Malik's government and the Iraqi Kurds seemed to deteriorate further. The Iraqi central government and the Kurdistan regional government have been at odds for years over who has final authority over Iraq's vast oil wealth.

In November, Iraqi Kurdistan deployed troops and tanks to cement the Kurds' claim over the strategic city. This launched a tense standoff with units of the Iraqi army, which had been deployed to areas near Kirkuk.

In other incidents, five people died in mostly Shiite areas of Baghdad on Wednesday.

Much of the violence targeted police officers. Gunmen shot dead three on patrol in the Shiite neighborhood of Shaab before setting their vehicle alight. An additional 10 people were wounded elsewhere in Baghdad in roadside bomb attacks.

A mother and daughter were fatally shot when gunmen stormed their house in a Shiite neighborhood.

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