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Last Updated: Sunday, 16 July 2006, 21:46 GMT 22:46 UK
Suicide attack on north Iraq cafe
Map of Iraq showing the city of Kirkuk
At least 23 people have been killed and 22 injured in a suicide attack in a crowded cafe in northern Iraq.

The explosion happened in a coffee shop in Tuz Khurmatu, a town 75km (50 miles) from Kirkuk.

Police chief Colonel Abbas Mohammed Amin said the bomber asked for a glass of water before detonating himself.

Mr Amin said the cafe was close to a Shia mosque in an area populated by Turkmen, and warned that the number of people who had died could rise.

Turkmen make up one of Iraq's main ethnic groups and follow both the Sunni and Shia traditions of Islam.

Friction exists between the Turkmen and Kurdish populations but the motive for the attack was unclear.

Widespread attacks

In other violence on Sunday, a raid north of Baghdad left four policemen dead and saw 13 wounded prisoners released.

Meanwhile, a suicide bomb attack on a joint US-Iraqi patrol in the northern city of Mosul killed three civilians, while a bomb in Baghdad's Karrada district killed at least three people.

In another development, a senior official from the Iraqi oil ministry was kidnapped on Sunday as he left a meeting in Baghdad, the second high-profile abduction in the capital in two days.

The country's Olympic Committee chief, Ahmed al-Hadjiya, was kidnapped with 30 others on Saturday.

Five have since been released.






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