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Double bombing at party office kills 19 in Iraq

By The Associated Press

This article was published June 8, 2014 at 9:02 a.m.

BAGHDAD — A double bombing at a Kurdish party office killed 19 people in a town northeast of Baghdad on Sunday, Iraqi officials said.

Police officials said the attack took place in the morning when a suicide bomber set off his explosive vest at the gate of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan office in Jalula, 125 kilometers (80 miles) northeast of Baghdad in the ethnically mixed Diyala province.

Minutes later, a car bomb exploded near the building as security forces arrived to inspect the scene of the first blast. Police put the death toll for both explosions at 19 killed and 65 wounded. The dead included a senior police officer and four of his bodyguards, and several houses and cars were damaged in the attack.

Hospital officials confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to media.

The PUK is headed by the ailing Iraqi president Jalal Talabani, who is receiving treatment in a hospital in Germany.

Sunday's attack came a day after a series of deadly bombings and clashes left at least 73 people dead.

Iraq is currently 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.

According to U.N. figures, 8,868 people were killed in Iraq in 2013. The U.N. mission said that May was the deadliest month so far this year, with 799 Iraqis killed in violence, including 603 civilians.

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