|Iraqis examine the wreckage of vehicles destroyed in Monday’s car bombing in Kirkuk on Monday [Reuters]|
Scores of people have been killed in attacks in towns and cities across Iraq, including at least 34 in a twin bombing in the central city of Kut.
Sixty-five people were also wounded in car bomb and roadside bomb blasts in the city, while deadly bombings and attacks also occurred in Diyala province, and in the cities of Baghdad, Najaf, Kerbala, Ramadi and Tikrit, according to security sources.
Death toll – 75 dead in total
A security official in Kut said the explosions occurred at 8am (0500 GMT) in a crowded area in the centre of the city, 160km south of Baghdad.
“I was on my way to my shop in the market and suddenly I felt myself being thrown to the ground,” said 26-year-old Saadun Muftin, speaking from the city’s Karama hospital.
“After that I found myself in the hospital with wounds all over my body.”
Another shopkeeper, Mohammed Jassim, described “smoke everywhere” in the square where the blasts took place.
The AFP news agency said women and children were among the casualties, quoting a doctor at a local hospital.
Nineteen people were also killed and 19 others injured in a double car bombing in the southern city of Najaf, according to a police source.
And at least 13 people were killed in several blasts in the Iraqi province of Diyala.
Local authorities in Baqouba, the main city in Diyala, ordered the evacuation of the provincial government building after receiving intelligence that it might also be targeted, police sources said.
Bombings took place across Iraq on Monday
Police sources confirmed to Reuters that at least one civilian was killed and nine others were wounded in two separate blasts in the northern city of Kirkuk on Monday.
The first blast was caused by a car bomb, targeting Iraqi police patrol in the area, wounding six people, including four policemen.
The second blast was caused by a motorcycle bomb, targeting a minibus in Domeez area in the south of the city.
Two suicide bombers attacked an Iraqi counter-terrorism unit in Tikrit, 150km north of Baghdad, killing at least three policemen and wounding six in a failed attempt to free al-Qaeda prisoners, a police official told Reuters news agency.
“They managed to enter wearing police uniforms and using fake IDs, passing three checkpoints,” said a security official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
One attacker detonated his suicide vest, hoping to kill a high-ranking counter-terrorism officer, said Captain Jassim al-Jibouri, an officer with the Tikrit counter-terrorism unit.
According to Al Jazeera’s sources, another explosion hit Karbala province, targeting a police station, killing at least three people.
The attacks come less than two weeks after Iraqi leaders said they would hold talks with the US over a security training mission to last beyond 2011, when all 47,000 American soldiers must withdraw under the terms of a bilateral security pact.
Violence in Iraq has declined from its peak in 2006 and 2007, but attacks remain common. A total of 259 Iraqis were killed in attacks in July, the second-highest figure for 2011.