Suicide bombers hit Iraqi police HQ, kill chief

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Suicide bombers hit Iraqi police HQ, kill chief

Three suicide bombers attacked Iraq’s federal police headquarters in Mosul, levelling the building and killing the top police commander in the northern city, officials said.

By (AP)

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Published: Wed 29 Dec 2010, 6:31 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 7:12 AM

While violence has subsided significantly in Iraq in the past years, insurgents frequently target the country’s government institutions and security forces in an effort to destabilize the U.S.-backed Iraqi authorities as American troops prepare to leave by the end of next year.

The attack in Mosul, a former Al Qaeda stronghold, began when three men with explosives vests slipped through an opening in the blast walls surrounding the compound housing Iraq’s 1st Battalion of the National Police at around 6 a.m. Wednesday, police said.

Police shot one of the attackers in an open-air yard, and his vest exploded — but under cover of the blast, the other suicide bombers charged into the police headquarters building.

One of the bombers entered the ground floor office of the battalion’s commander, Lt. Col. Shamil Al Jabouri, where he was sleeping, and blew himself up, killing him instantly, a police officer at the scene said.

The other bomber detonated his explosives-laden vest on the ground floor of the building shortly after the first blast, police said.

The twin explosions were so powerful that they brought the whole building down, burying the slain commander and possibly others under the rubble, police said.

Hospital officials in the city, located 225 miles (360 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, confirmed the fatality and said they’ve treated one policeman who was wounded in the blast. Morgue officials in the city said they have not received any bodies.

Rescuers worked frantically to clear the rubble of the collapsed building to get to those possibly trapped underneath.

Abdul-Raheem Al Shemeri, a top security official on the Mosul Provincial Council, said he believed Al Jabouri, who fought to rid the northern city of Al Qaeda militants, was the target of Wednesday’s attack.

‘We’ve lost a sword of Mosul, who chased Al Qaeda terrorists out of the city,’ Al Shemeri said, adding that Al Jabouri was believed to have been one of few people in the building since the official work day had not yet started.

Militants had tried to kill Al Jabouri several times before, Al Shemeri and several police officials said. A few months ago, Al Jabouri’s guards shot a suicide bomber who approached the commander in an attempt to blow himself up, police said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Wednesday’s attack.

But suicide bombers have been Al Qaeda’s most lethal weapon in Iraq, killing hundreds of civilians and members of Iraq’s security forces.

On Monday, two suicide attackers blew themselves up in front of a government office in Iraq’s provincial capital of Ramadi in Anbar province in the west, killing nine people and wounding dozens.

In a separate incident Wednesday, five civilians were wounded when a roadside bomb hit an Iraqi police patrol in eastern Baghdad, police and hospital officials said.

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

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