At least 18 people have been killed after a suicide bomber rammed his lorry into a government building in northern Iraq. Women, children and police officers were among the victims. Dozens of people were injured. The attack took place in Sulaiman Bek, some 90 kilometres south of Kirkuk, on the main road to Baghdad. The city has been the scene of a rise in violence in recent months as military convoys on their way to and from the capital come under attack.
Meanwhile, in Baghdad, thick plumes of smoke could be seen rising from buildings in the Green Zone which was hit by a barrage of mortar bombs this morning. A massive joint operation between Iraqi and US forces continues near the capital aimed at rooting out al Qaeda fighters.