A car bomb near Kirkuk city at the headquarters of Iraq’s North Oil Company killed seven people and wounded 17 others on Sunday, a high-ranking police officer and a doctor said.
The bomb exploded about 7:30 am (0430 GMT) in a car park at the rear gate of the state-owned North Oil Company, which is about 15 kilometres (nine miles) from the northern city of Kirkuk, the police officer said.
The blast killed seven people who were seeking to join a force that guards oil facilities, and wounded 17 others, the officer said, a toll confirmed by Dr Othman Abdul Rahman.
The North Oil Company is responsible for oil exports from northern Iraq.
Volatile Kirkuk province, which is rich in both oil and ethnic tension, is part of a swathe of disputed territory in northern Iraq that the autonomous Kurdistan region wants to incorporate against Baghdad’s wishes.
Sunday’s violence comes after a series attacks in Kirkuk city, including apparently coordinated bombings against Shiite places of worship, killed eight people and wounded 80 on Friday.
Violence in Iraq is down significantly from its peak in 2006 and 2007, but attacks remain common, killing 278 people in August, according to an AFP tally based on security and medical officials.