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Iraqi Police Respond To Kirkuk Blasts, Rusafa Investigation Continues

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2007 – Seven car bombs, including one suspected suicide car bomb, detonated in various parts of Kirkuk this morning, killing three people and injuring 22 others, Multinational Forces Iraq officials reported.

The attacks occurred as the investigation continues into a truck bombing yesterday in central Baghdad that left 105 Iraqis dead and 251 injured.

In Kirkuk today, Iraqi police and emergency response teams, along with coalition soldiers, responded to the blasts, treating the casualties and assessing the damage at each site.

”Were fortunate in the low number of casualties but also in the reaction by the Iraqi security forces," Army Col. Patrick Stackpole, commander of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, said. “They reacted quickly to evacuate the innocent civilians and also prevented the terrorist from achieving all their intended effects.”

Stackpole met with Maj. Gen. Sherko Shakir, chief of the Kirkuk provincial police, to assess the situation.

The police and its specialized emergency services unit have established additional checkpoints throughout the city to prevent further attacks. Iraqi police also announced an early curfew for the city to fully assess the situation and identify any additional threats.

“These are horrific acts of violence that test the people's resolve,” Stackpole said. “The number of attacks today demonstrates an effort by the insurgents to destabilize the city and destroy the people’s confidence.”

The explosions appeared to be an organized effort to undermine the local government and raise public fear. Officials noted that two of the car bombs detonated near separate offices headed by Kurdish political parties.

Meanwhile, the investigation continues into yesterday’s truck bombing in central Baghdad. The blast, from a bomb encased in a large truck, targeted civilians at a busy intersection in the Rusafa section.

A unit from the Iraqi Army and two companies from the 89th Military Police Brigade responded to the scene to assess damage while Iraqi emergency services transported the casualties to the local hospital, officials said.

(From Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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