Last updated: 20 December, 2013

Bombs in Iraq livestock market kill eight people

Attacks in Iraq, including bombings in a market and another at a cemetery where victims of the earlier attack were to be buried, killed 20 people on Friday, officials said.

In Tuz Khurmatu, 175 kilometres (110 miles) north of Baghdad, two bombs exploded in a livestock market, killing eight people and wounding 25.

As people gathered at a cemetery to bury the victims of the market blasts, another bomb went off, killing three people and wounding two.

Militants in Iraq often attack places where crowds of people gather, including markets, cafes and mosques, in an effort to cause maximum casualties.

A number of funerals have also been attacked this year.

Also on Friday militants attacked three houses in a village in the northern province of Kirkuk, shooting dead six people and then blowing up the homes, police and army officers said.

A roadside bomb also killed two civilians in Kirkuk province, while another blast in the city of Mosul, also in north Iraq, killed a policeman and wounded another.

Friday’s attacks came a day after three suicide bombers targeted Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad and south of the capital, killing at least 36 people, as militants shot dead a family of five west of the city.

Muhanad Mohammed, a journalist who worked for both foreign and Iraqi media, was among those killed in one of the suicide bombings on Thursday.

He was the seventh journalist to be killed in Iraq in less than three months.

Violence has surged this year to levels not seen since 2008, when Iraq was just emerging from a brutal sectarian conflict.

More people were killed in the first eight days of this month than in the whole of December last year.

And more than 6,600 people have been killed since the beginning of 2013, according to AFP figures based on security and medical sources.