Kirkuk: A car bomb outside an alcohol shop in an ethnically-mixed northern Iraqi city killed at least seven people Saturday evening, security and medical officials said.
The blast, which also wounded 17, struck in the Wasati neighbourhood in southern Kirkuk, a tinderbox city that is at the centre of a long-running territorial dispute between the central government and Iraq`s autonomous Kurdish region.
The evening explosion came amid a protracted surge in bloodshed that has left more than 3,700 people dead so far this year, fuelling fears Iraq is slipping back into the all-out conflict that plagued it in 2006 and 2007.
Attacks elsewhere in the country today killed 10 other people, including three farmers who were found beheaded, officials said.
Violence has surged in the past year to its highest level since 2008, while anti-government fighters also control an entire city a short drive from Baghdad and parts of another.