A group of insurgents on Wednesday carried out a coordinated car bomb and gunfire attacks on the local government building and security forces in the city of Hawijah in Iraq's oil-rich province of Kirkuk, leaving an unknown number of casualties, local police said.
The attacks occurred at noon in Hawijah, some 60 km west of the city of Kirkuk, when insurgents blew up two car bombs near two police stations, while six mortar rounds landed on the police headquarters nearby the city council building, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
The blasts were immediately followed by an attack of dozens of gunmen on the city council buildings, sparking fierce clashes with the security forces, the source said.
No immediate details about the casualties are reported, as the clashes are still underway, and the reinforcement troops blocked the roads leading to the battle site, the source added.
Iraq is witnessing its worst eruption of violence in recent years, which raises fears that the country is sliding back to full- blown civil conflict that peaked in 2006 and 2007, when monthly death toll sometimes exceeded 3,000.