World News

Mayor wounded by bomb in N. Iraq town

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The Kurdish mayor of a town in a volatile area of northern Iraq was wounded by a roadside bomb attack on his motorcade on Sunday, police said.

Three bodyguards and two civilians were also wounded by the bomb targeting Mayor Ahmed Zarkoush in the town of Sa’adiya, near Jalawla in the north of Iraq’s volatile Diyala province.

That part of the province, with an ethnically mixed population, is just outside Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region and has seen disputes in recent weeks between the central authorities and Kurdish security forces.

Kurdish troops, known as Peshmerga, withdrew from parts of Diyala in August under a deal with the government in Baghdad, but Kurds there say they fear the central authorities cannot protect them from attacks by al Qaeda Sunni Arab militants.

Kurdish security forces and Iraqi police clashed on Saturday in Jalawla, with one person on each side killed, after a dispute at a Kurdish party headquarters in the town.

Editing by Charles Dick