Bombs kill six in Iraq's disputed Kirkuk province

AFP , Tuesday 27 Nov 2012

Six people killed and 16 wounded in car bombs in Kurdish areas in norther Iraq

Car bombs killed four people in Kurdish areas of the disputed northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Tuesday, while roadside bombs killed two more in a nearby Arab town, officials said.

The attacks came a day after federal and Kurdish security chiefs reached an agreement aimed at easing high tensions in disputed northern areas, which Iraq's parliamentary speaker has warned could lead to civil war.

One car bomb exploded in a Kurdish area of east Kirkuk near a Kurdistan Democratic Party youth club, one of the two main Kurdish parties in Iraq, killing two people and wounding seven, a security official said.

About 10 minutes later, a second car bomb exploded in another Kurdish area in the city's northeast, killing a Kurdish security forces member and wounding four other people, the official said.

A third car bomb detonated in the north of the city killed one person and wounded five, with Kurdish security forces members among the wounded.

Two roadside bombs exploded in an Arab-majority town about 50 kilometres (30 miles) east of Kirkuk, killing two people, among them a policeman, and wounding one other.

Dr Nabil Yusef from Kirkuk General Hospital confirmed six people were killed in the attacks.

Also on Tuesday, six roadside bombs targeted the army and police in the disputed town of Tuz Khurmatu, wounding two members of the security forces, police Lieutenant Colonel Khaled al-Bayati said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but car and roadside bombs are a hallmark of Sunni insurgent groups.

Top federal and Kurdish security officials met on Monday, agreeing to continue with talks and on activating coordinating committees between their forces, and to work to calm the situation and look for mechanisms to withdraw military units mobilised during the increased tensions.

A second meeting of Iraqi and Kurdish officials was held on Tuesday, a statement from military spokesman Colonel Dhia al-Wakil said, adding that a draft of the agreement between the two sides would be completed Wednesday and presented to a committee for approval.

Parliamentary speaker Osama al-Nujaifi has been holding talks since 21 November with political leaders in Baghdad and the autonomous region of Kurdistan in a bid to reduce the tensions.

Kurdistan wants to incorporate a swathe of territory in northern Iraq over Baghdad's strong objections -- a dispute diplomats and officials say is the biggest threat to the country's long-term stability.

Ties between the two sides are also marred by disputes over oil and power-sharing.

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