Tikrit twin bombings kill 12, wound 28 as shoppers pack market for Ramadan supplies


A twin attack involving a car bomb and a suicide bombing in the northern Iraq city of Tikrit killed 12 people near a bank and a market crowded with shoppers stocking up for Ramadan, officials said.

At least 28 people were also wounded in the attack, a health department official said.

“A car bomb exploded outside the Al Rafidain Bank in the center of Tikrit, and one minute later a suicide bomber exploded his vest as people gathered,” said Dr. Raad Al Juburi, head of the health department in Salaheddin province, of which Tikrit is the capital.

He gave a toll of 12 people killed and 28 wounded and added that police and soldiers were among the victims.

A security official in Tikrit confirmed the 12 dead, adding the attack happened at 11:45 a.m. (0845 GMT).

A witness said that the state-owned bank where the explosion took place is close to the city’s wholesale food market, which was crowded with people shopping for the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan that begins on Monday.

“A booby-trapped (vehicle) exploded at a parking lot next to the bank. When people gathered, a suicide bomber exploded his vest,” said a policeman at the scene. He said nine parked cars were also damaged, together with several shops in the market.

Police cars were roaming the streets, blaring through loudspeakers that the streets were closed to cars, and only pedestrian traffic was allowed.

Two other attacks in Tikrit this month killed in all 36 people, and another March 29 attack, claimed by Al Qaeda, on the Salaheddin governorate offices left 58 people dead.

Violence has steadily being rising in the past few months as US troops begin packing up to leave by the end of the year the country they invaded in 2003 to topple dictator Saddam Hussein.

June was the deadliest month so far this year for the number of Iraqis killed, and the bloodiest in three years for US forces, who lost 14 soldiers in attacks.