Last updated: 30 August, 2013

Blasts in north Iraqi town kill at least 13

Two roadside bombs exploded on the edge of the north Iraq town of Tuz Khurmatu Friday, killing at least 13 people, seven of them children, police and the town’s mayor said.

One bomb exploded on a road at the entrance to the town and the second was triggered as residents rushed to the scene, the sources said.

The blasts, which took place as children were playing in the road, also wounded 18 people, including a baby, whose parents were both killed, they added.

Tuz Khurmatu is a majority Kurdish town located in a disputed area of northern Iraq, where both the autonomous Kurdish province and the central government in Baghdad vie for power.

Elsewhere in Iraq four soldiers, including a captain, were killed by two roadside bombs in the main northern city of Mosul, police and medics said.

The latest unrest came as an Al-Qaeda front group claimed a wave of bombings across Baghdad on Wednesday, when violence nationwide killed 75 people.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant said the attacks were retribution for the executions this month of people convicted of terror-related offences.

“The new wave of attacks organised by the Sunni lions of Baghdad and other Islamic states come in response to the crimes” of the Iraqi government, the jihadist group said.

“What happened in Baghdad is a message of vengeance for the blood of our brothers, and if you act again in the same way so will we,” it added.

The ministry of justice announced on August 19 that 17 people had been executed, bringing to 67 the number of people condemned to death since January, according to an AFP tally.

Iraq has seen a marked rise in the level of violence this year, coinciding with demonstrations by the Sunni Arab minority against alleged ill treatment at the hands of the Shiite-led government and security forces.

More than 600 people have already been killed so far this month, according to an AFP tally.