The death toll from a double suicide bombing in Iraq has risen to at least 36.
More than 70 people were injured in the attack which took place at a police academy in the capital Baghdad just after midday. The terrorist organisation al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility. According to initial reports, the suicide bombers blew themselves up inside a classroom but it later emerged they detonated their explosives as police cadets were heading for lunch. It comes less than 10 days ahead of a crucial parliamentary election for the Shi’ite and Kurdish-led government which faces daily violence from Sunni insurgents. The attack coincides with the kidnapping of an US security consultant, claimed by an Iraqi militant group – the Islamic Army. It has threatened to kill him within 48 hours unless Washington frees all Iraqi prisoners. He is the seventh Westerner to be taken hostage in Iraq since November 25.