by Jamal Hashem
BAGHDAD, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- A total of seven people were killed and 80 others were wounded in bomb attacks across the country on Wednesday, including three car bombings in Iraq's northern city of Kirkuk.
The most deadly attack was a triple car bomb explosions in the morning targeted Kurdish security base and Iraqi forces that killed seven people and wounded 68 others.
The blasts, which occurred around 10:20 a.m. local time (0720 GMT), left at least six vehicles totally charred and caused severe damages to many houses and civilian cars in the neighborhood.
A city police chief Brigadier General Sarhat Abdul Qader told Xinhua that the three massive blasts occurred almost simultaneously at the neighborhood of al-Wasitti in southern Kirkuk, some 250 km north of Baghdad.
One of the car bombs ripped through an area near a base of a Kurdish security force, and another struck a police convoy carrying Colonel Ahmed Shamirani, chief of a police force in the city, who was wounded by the attack, while a third car bomb explosion hit a police patrol down the street of the security base, Qader said.
Kirkuk province and its capital Kirkuk City is populated by mix of Arab, Kurds and Turkomans. The city has long been the epicenter of ethnic tensions as the province is part of the disputed areas which the Kurds want them to be incorporated into their semi- autonomous enclave, a move fiercely opposed by the Arabs and Turkomans.
An Iraqi television News footage showed two columns of black smoke rising in southern Kirkuk by two car bombings, and suddenly a mushroom of dense black smoke and a cloud of dust poured into the sky by a third massive blast elsewhere in the same neighborhood.
In Baghdad, two roadside bomb explosions went off in eastern and central the capital wounded a total of eight people, according to an Interior Ministry source.
Elsewhere, an Iraqi army officer and three of his soldiers were wounded when a roadside bomb went off around midday near their patrol outside of the town of al-Garma near the city of Falluja, some 50 km west of Baghdad, a local police source told Xinhua.
The latest attacks are almost certainly going to increase pressure on Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who showed himself as the strongman persona during his re-election propaganda and promised to restore stability. But Maliki has not yet appointed anyone to the country's security ministries in his cabinet since late December last year.
Iraqis believe that qualified and professional ministers needed to be appointed as soon as possible to act quickly to command the performance of their vital ministries.
Violence and sporadic high-profile bomb attacks continue in the Iraqi cities despite the dramatic decrease of violence over the last three years.