Iraq: Deadly suicide attack leaves 70 casualties

Diyala, 26 August (AKI) - Twenty-five people were killed and 45 others were wounded in a suicide bomb attack in the Iraqi province of Diyala on Tuesday.

The bomber attacked a line of police recruits in the northwestern town of Jalawlah, just before midday local time.

Tuesday's bombing was the latest in a series of attacks, launched mainly by Sunni Islamists in Diyala.

"The car bomb, which blew up near a police station in the al-Shohadaa neighbourhood, northeastern Jalawlaa, left 25 dead and 45 others injured," Ahmed Khalifa al-Qassab told the news agency, Voices of Iraq.

Qassab expected the number of casualties to rise but he did not give more details.

Iraqi security forces, backed by US troops, in July launched a large-scale security campaign codenamed Bashaer al-Kheir (Promise of Good) in a number of cities and districts of Diyala in a bid to eliminate networks of armed militants.

The operation recently advanced to areas in the Khanaqin district, where Kurdish peshmerga forces withdrew from the districts of Qara Taba and Jalawlaa after an agreement between the Kurdish authorities and the Iraqi government.

Khanaqin is an area in dispute and the two sides are seeking a mutually accepted solution under the Iraqi constitution.

Diyala province extends to the northeast of Baghdad as far as the Iranian border.

In January 2008 Operation Phantom Phoenix was launched in an attempt to eradicate remnants of al-Qaeda in the region which is one of the most dangerous in Iraq.


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