A series of bomb attacks killed 34 people in Iraq, including more than a dozen in the northern oil region of Kirkuk, Deputy Health Minister Khamees al-Saad said.
Another 327 people were wounded in the blasts, al-Saad said in a phone interview from Baghdad. Seven recruits were slain in a suicide car bombing and 17 injured while waiting outside the police headquarters of state-run North Oil Co. in Kirkuk, Aywa Salah, a North Oil police colonel, said by phone.
Iraq has struggled to prevent attacks against civilian and government targets since U.S. forces withdrew at the end of last year. The oil-export pipeline from Kirkuk has been a frequent target of sabotage since the 2003 invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein.
In Kirkuk, production and exports weren’t affected because today’s blasts took place outside the company’s headquarters, Oil Police Colonel Ghanim al-Quraishi said in a telephone interview from Kirkuk. No one claimed responsibility for the attack, according to North Oil’s police.
Iraq, the largest producer after Saudi Arabia in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, pumps crude oil from fields near Kirkuk for export through a pipeline to the port of Ceyhan, Turkey. Kirkuk lies adjacent to Iraq’s semi- autonomous Kurdish region and is claimed by Kurdish authorities, though the central government in Baghdad controls the city.
A separate attack in the Tuz Khormato district killed three people, while two others died in a blast in the al-Haweeja district, police in Kirkuk said in an e-mailed statement. Two people were killed and an additional 70 injured by blasts near the Ministry of Interior’s investigation department in the province, according to Kirkuk police.
Fourteen people were killed and 60 wounded in the city of Amara in the southeast, Farhan al-Musawi, head of the security committee in the provincial council of Maisan, said in a phone interview.
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