BAGHDAD // A suicide bomber driving a car packed with explosives detonated the vehicle near an Iraqi military base yesterday, killing at least 27 people and wounding more than 40.
The blast occurred about midday as troops were leaving the base in Taji, 20 kilometres north of Baghdad, police said. Nineteen soldiers were among the dead, and several vehicles were damaged.
The casualty toll was high because the attacker blew up the car while large numbers of soldiers were walking to and from a parking area for waiting minibuses that take them to and from work, officials said.
Insurgents frequently target members of the country's security forces in an effort to undermine confidence in the Shiite-led government. Although violence has ebbed in Iraq since the height of the insurgency, attacks still occur frequently.
Officials said many of the wounded were soldiers. They warned the death toll could rise further because several of the injuries were serious.
The attack was the deadliest in Iraq in more than a week. On October 27, insurgents unleashed a string of bombings and other attacks around the country in which 40 people were killed.
Yesterday's attack was the second bombing in Taji in less than 24 hours. On Monday, police said a car bomb was detonated near an army patrol not far from the site of yesterday's blast. Eight people were wounded.
Another bombing on Monday near an outdoor market in a Shiite neighbourhood on Baghdad's outskirts killed four.
In Iraq's north, the president of the country's self-ruled Kurdish region urged Kurds in Syria to stay united and not let political differences deteriorate into violence.
The comments by Massoud Barzani, posted on Monday evening on the regional government's website, point to growing concern in Iraq that infighting among Syrian Kurds could complicate that country's civil war and risk destabilising Iraq's Kurdish region. Syria's Kurds have been solidifying control over territory where they live amid the conflict.