Fifteen die in Iraq marketplace bombing

Fifteen people were killed and 25 wounded on Tuesday when a suicide bomber blew himself up in a marketplace in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, police said.

Police rushed to the market after a small bomb exploded there. A suicide bomber then drove in at speed, ramming a police car with his vehicle and setting off a large explosion.

At least 20 shops were damaged and five cars destroyed. A number of the victims, many of them police officers, were burnt to death according to police Brigadier General Adel Zein al-Din.

United States soldiers and police cordoned off the area following the explosion, which occurred at about 7pm local time when the food market was packed with shoppers.

Earlier on Tuesday, insurgents lured Iraqi a police patrol by shooting one officer and then had a suicide car bomber drive up to the scene and detonate his vehicle while the investigation was under way, killing 12 people in northern Iraq, police said.

Police Captain Farhad Talabani said the bombing took place on a road leaving Kirkuk, 290km north of Baghdad.

Attacks on the security forces in Kirkuk are fairly common.

Insurgents last week opened fire on a police patrol in Kirkuk, killing three officers, while a roadside bomb a few kilometres away killed two more police officers.—Sapa-AFP, Sapa-AP

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