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Last Updated: Sunday, 17 September 2006, 14:15 GMT 15:15 UK
Many dead in northern Iraq blasts
Site where truck bomb killed at least 18 people in Kirkuk
Bodies were found amid the wreckage of the truck bombing
At least 23 people have been killed and 65 injured in a series of bombings in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk.

In the deadliest attack, a suicide bomber blew up a truck killing 18 people close to offices of Kurdish political parties and a police station.

Hours later, a joint US-Iraqi security patrol was targeted in an attack which left three civilians dead.

Two further roadside bomb attacks were reported, as well as a suicide car bomb attack at an Iraqi army checkpoint.

At least one person was killed in another blast that targeted the house of a local tribal leader.

In Baghdad, officials said 24 bodies were found. Most of the victims had been shot dead in apparent sectarian attacks.

Several of the corpses showed signs of torture, officials said. About 180 bodies have been found in the city in the last five days.

Dozens injured

In the Kirkuk truck bombing, eyewitnesses said the driver opened fire on bystanders before blowing up his vehicle.

The attack took place near offices of the two main Kurdish political parties - Iraqi President Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Kurdish President Massoud Barzani.

Kirkuk map
The compound also houses a police station, a prison and TV station.

"He drove towards the centre, firing the gun with one hand randomly to push back civilians, and then detonated the truck in front of the centre," a police officer said.

At least 55 people were wounded in the blast, which left charred and mangled corpses amid wreckage of collapsed buildings.

Police said a number of women and children visiting prisoners were among the victims.

Kirkuk is disputed by Sunni Arabs and Kurds, and its final status is a sensitive issue in Iraq.

A recent dispute over the raising of the Kurdish flag over government buildings has also aggravated those divisions.

The aftermath of the explosions

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