Attack on Iraqi government complex kills nine: police, medics

BAGHDAD Tue Dec 3, 2013 6:39am EST

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Nine people were killed and 17 wounded in a suicide and mortar attack on a government compound in the northern Iraqi town of Tarmiya on Tuesday, police and medics said.

One attacker wearing an explosive belt blew himself up at the structure, which held the mayor's office, the town's police station and other government organizations, officials told Reuters.

Others shot at security guards and fired mortars at the compound, around 25 km (15 miles) north of the Iraqi capital.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the assault.

But Sunni Muslim insurgents have regularly hit targets linked to the Shi'ite-ld government and the army since the start of 2013, amid the country's worst spate of violence in five years.

The violence, sometimes carried out by groups linked to al Qaeda, has been exacerbated by the increasingly sectarian conflict in neighboring Syria.

(Reporting by Kareem Raheem, Writing by Raheem Salman; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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