A double bombing tore through Kurdish political party offices in northern Iraq in the deadliest of a series of attacks nationwide that killed at least 40 people, officials said. It was the second such assault in as many days.
Nobody claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack. But an al-Qaida splinter group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant claimed responsibility for the previous double bombing Sunday against Kurdish offices in Jalula, northwest of Baghdad, killing 19 people. The group said in an online statement that the bombings in Jalula were in response to the detention of Muslim women by authorities in the self-rule Kurdish region in northern Iraq.
Iraq is grappling with its worst surge in violence since the sectarian bloodletting of 2006 and 2007, when the country was pushed to the brink of civil war despite the presence of tens of thousands of U.S. troops. The Americans withdrew at the end of 2011.
Monday’s attack took place in the town of Tuz Khormato, about 200 kilometers (130 miles) north of Baghdad, when a suicide bomber drove his explosives-laden truck into a checkpoint leading up to the offices of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the nearby Kurdistan Com munist Party.
Mayor Shalal Abdoul said another truck bomb exploded, presumably detonated by remote control, as people rushed to the scene of the first attack. The blasts killed 22 people, wounded as many as 150 and destroyed several houses and cars, he said.