At least 21 killed by car bombs in Kirkuk in northern Iraq

Saturday 23 August 2014 22.14
At least 21 people have died in the three near-simultaneous blasts
At least 21 people have died in the three near-simultaneous blasts

Three near-simultaneous car bombs have killed 21 people and wounded 65 in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, a senior police officer and a doctor said.

Two of the bombs exploded near buildings under construction that were used as observation positions by security forces, while the third struck the entrance to a market.

The bombings come as Iraqi federal and Kurdish security forces battle a jihadist-led militant offensive that was launched in June and has overrun large areas of five provinces.

In the early days of the onslaught, Iraqi soldiers left their positions in oil-rich Kirkuk province, the capital of which is the city of the same name.

This cleared the way for Kurdish forces to take control of it and other disputed northern areas that they have long wanted to incorporate into their autonomous region, over the strong objection of Baghdad.