19 Jan 2011

Tikrit suicide bombing kills at least 50

8:08 am on 19 January 2011

At least 50 people have been killed by a suicide bomber in the Iraqi city of Tikrit, 130km north of Baghdad.

An estimated 150 others were wounded in the blast at a police recruiting centre.

Witnesses said the bomber was in the middle of about 100 volunteers who were waiting outside the building to be interviewed.

The BBC reports most of the victims were police recruits.

Initial reports indicated the bomber carried more than 10 grenades and had 20 kg of TNT and C4 explosives, as well as ball bearings, in his vest.

Salahuddin province deputy governor Ahmed Abdul-Jabbar said the attack was the work of "terrorists".

"Who else would it be but al Qaeda, who keep on slaughtering us?" he said.

Tikrit is the home town of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

An attack on the police academy in the city killed 40 people in 2007.