A double bombing killed 27 people, mostly police officers, and wounded at least 100 in Kirkuk in northern Iraq Thursday.
The first bomb was hidden in a car in a parking garage at police headquarters where police officers and intelligence officers gather to sip tea. It wounded eight people, the Los Angeles Times reports. As people rushed to the parking lot to inspect their cars as well as secure the scene, a second bomb went off and killed at least 27 police officers, firefighters and security personnel.
Kirkuk is an oil-rich city in northern Iraq that has long faced ethnic tensions among Arabs, Kurds and Turkmens, all of whom claim ownership over the land.
"The Kurds wish to annex the area to their semiautonomous Kurdistan region, while Arabs insist it should be under Baghdad's control. Despite eight years of U.S.-backed efforts to mediate a solution, the sides remain at loggerheads," the Los Angeles Times states.
"Armed groups hope to exploit the population's differences with bombings and killings."
Authorities accused Al Qaeda of Thursday's bombings, Euronews reports.
The attack was one of several across Iraq Thursday, most of which were aimed at police officers, the Washington Post reports.
A roadside bomb detonated in the same area injuring a police commander and five others Thursday. Then a car exploded next to a police convoy in Baqubah north of Baghdad. And in Baghdad, a bomb exploded killing one.