Suicide bomber attack on Iraq city council HQ kills five
By Mahmud Saleh, AFP
March 5, 2014, 12:13 am TWN
SAMARRA -- Suicide bombers attacked the city council headquarters in the Iraqi city of Samarra on Tuesday, took employees hostage and eventually blew themselves up, killing a total of five people.
The attack, which followed a similar operation last December, illustrates the impunity with which militants in Iraq can strike even targets that should be highly secure, as the country suffers its worst violence in years.
Two bombers dressed in police uniforms shot dead a policeman and took control of the council headquarters with employees inside, a police lieutenant colonel said.
Clashes broke out between the militants and security forces, and a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-rigged vehicle near police and Sahwa anti-al-Qaida militia forces when they arrived at the scene.
Security forces then surrounded the council headquarters and exchanged fire with the two bombers inside, who eventually blew themselves up as well, killing four of their hostages.
The three blasts wounded a total of 47 people, mainly security forces, among them the deputy head of the city council.
The attack in Samarra follows a similar incident in Tikrit, another city in the Sunni-majority Salaheddin province, north of Baghdad, in which militants detonated a car bomb and seized the city council headquarters on Dec. 16.