Fourteen cadets and five officers killed in attack on crowd outside police academy in Iraqi capital
A suicide car bomber has killed 19 police officers and cadets in an attack on a crowd outside a Baghdad police academy.
Police and hospital sources said 14 cadets and five police were killed, and 26 people were wounded, all but two of them police or cadets.
“I can see body parts scattered on the ground and boots and berets covered with blood. Many cars were set ablaze,” said a policeman working at the academy in north-eastern Baghdad.
The attack was the deadliest since 27 January when a suicide bomber set off an explosive-laden vehicle near a Shia funeral procession in Baghdad, killing at least 31 and wounding 60.
It breaks a short period of relative calm that accompanied an easing in a political crisis pitting the Shia prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, against senior members of the Sunni-backed Iraqiya political bloc.
Tensions rose on Thursday when a panel of judges detailed 150 attacks they said were carried out by death squads under the command of the Sunni vice-president, Tareq al-Hashemi. Maliki sought Hashemi’s arrest in December, sparking the crisis.
Hashemi, who has taken refuge in the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan, has denied accusations made against him, dismissing them as a plot to destroy Maliki’s opponents.
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