At Least 80 Dead in Kirkuk Suicide Bombings Iraqi police say the twin suicide car bombings exploded within 20 minutes of each other in the country's north, targeting a Kurdish political office and ripping through an outdoor market.
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At Least 80 Dead in Kirkuk Suicide Bombings

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Iraqis gather at the site of a suicide bombing in the oil rich city of Kirkuk, north of Baghdad on Monday. Marwan Ibrahim/AFP/Getty hide caption

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Marwan Ibrahim/AFP/Getty

Iraqis gather at the site of a suicide bombing in the oil rich city of Kirkuk, north of Baghdad on Monday.

Marwan Ibrahim/AFP/Getty

Iraqi police said Monday that a pair of suicide car bombings on Monday in the northern city of Kirkuk have killed at least 80 people and wounded 150 others little more than a week after a similar attack in the city.

The twin suicide car bombings exploded within 20 minutes of each other in Iraq's north on Monday targeting a Kurdish political office and ripping through an outdoor market, police said.

The attacks in Kirkuk began around noon when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives-packed truck near the concrete blast walls of the headquarters of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, the party of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.

The explosion blasts a 30-foot-deep crater in the pavement and collapsed part of the roof of the one-story PUK office. Outside the offices, the burnt shells of more than two dozen vehicles were in the street.

Soon after, the second bomber attacked the Haseer market, 700 yards away, destroying stalls and cars, said Kirkuk police Brig. Sarhat Qadir.

The Haseer market - an outdoor souk vegetable and fruit market - is frequented by Kurds in Kirkuk, a city where tensions are high between the Kurdish and Arab populations. At least 80 people were killed and around 140 wounded, said police Brig. Burhan Tayeb Taha.

The attack was believed to be the deadliest suicide bombing in Kirkuk - 180 miles north of Baghdad - where violence tends to be on a smaller scale of shootings, roadside bombs and kidnap-slayings, often linked to the struggle between the city's Kurds and Arabs.

Monday's blast came just over a week after one of the Iraq conflict's deadliest suicide attacks hit a village about 50 miles south of Kirkuk, killing more than 160 people.

Iraqi officials have said Sunni insurgents are moving further north to carry out attacks, fleeing U.S. offensives in and around Baghdad, including in the city of Baqouba, a stronghold of extremists on the capital's northwestern doorstep.

The month-old sweeps, fueled by the "surge" of 28,000 new American troops sent to Iraq this year, aim to pacify the capital and boost the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

From NPR reports and The Associated Press