UK & World News
Iraq: Children Killed In Playground Bombing
Suicide bombers have driven vehicles packed with explosives into a school and police station, while another blew himself up on foot among pilgrims, killing at least 27 people of whom many were children.
One drove a truck into the playground of a primary school in Qabak, near the town of Tel Afar, killing 12 students and their headmaster.
The explosion caused part of the single-storey building to collapse.
Just minutes earlier there was a similar attack on the village's police station in which two officers were killed.
The village, which is home to about 200 people and has a large Shiite population, is situated northwest of Mosul city, where al Qaeda Sunni Islamists and other insurgents have a foothold.
Tel Afar's mayor Abdul Aal al Obeidi said: "We were exposed to two big explosions today in which dozens were killed or injured."
He said a further 90 people were injured in the attacks.
"It's a tragedy," he said. "These innocent children were here to study. What sins did these children commit?"
Elsewhere, a suicide bomber blew himself up among a crowd of Shiite pilgrims passing through a Sunni neighbourhood in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.
At least 12 people were killed in the blast and 23 others injured as they walked to a shrine to commemorate the death of Imam Mohammed al Jawad, the ninth Shiite imam.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the day's violence, which followed several deadly assaults across the country on Saturday in which at least 66 people were killed.
In one, a suicide bomber blew himself up in a cafe in Balad, a largely Shiite town surrounded by Sunni communities located about 50 miles north of Baghdad, killing at least 13 people and wounding 22 others.
The attacks are the latest in a relentless wave of killing that has made for Iraq's deadliest outburst of violence since 2008.
United Nations figures released this week showed that at least 979 people, most of them civilians, were killed last month alone.