BAGHDAD (AP) — A back-to-back car bombing targeting an ethnic minority in northern Iraq and other attacks on members of security forces and a Shite village killed at least 27 people on Friday, Iraqi officials said.
Since last year, militants have escalated attacks in Iraq, with violence surging to levels not seen since 2006 and 2007.
The double bombing struck in the morning in Tahrawa, a village inhabited by families from the Shabak ethnic group, killing seven members of the minority. The village is near the city of Mosul, 360 kilometers (225 miles) northwest of Baghdad. Police officials also said that 43 people were wounded in the explosions.
The Shabak have their own distinct language and belief system, which is an offshoot of Shiite Islam. Most live in villages east of Mosul, the provincial capital of the ethnically mixed Ninevah province, which is predominantly Sunni Muslim.
The Shabak have been targeted in the past by Sunni extremists, who consider them apostates. A car bombing in April in another Shabak village near Mosul, Bay Boukh, killed nine.
Also Friday, clashes broke out in Mosul after gunmen attempted to seize an army ammunition depot. The attack was repelled, but six soldiers were killed and five others were wounded, police said.
Also in Mosul, clashes in several neighborhoods left seven members of the security forces dead, along with 16 militants who tried to take control of some neighborhoods in the city. By the afternoon, the clashes died out and the militants were forced to withdraw from the city, according to police officials.
After nightfall, mortar shells slammed into several houses in the Shiite village of Sabaa al-Bour, about 30 kilometers (20 miles) north of the Iraqi capital, killing seven people and wounding 20.