Baghdad: At least 24 persons were killed and dozens injured in multiple attacks by Islamic State militants on a police compound and government buildings in the Iraqi city of Kirkuk, police said.
The attacks occurred early Friday morning when dozens of IS militants, many wearing explosive-laden vests, attacked the police compound, a building of Kurdish security, and some government buildings and mosques inside the city of Kirkuk, Xinhua news agency quoted a source as saying.
After fierce clashes with the guards of the buildings, the attackers seized a police headquarter, a mosque and a house, in Kirkuk, some 250 km north of Baghdad, the source said.
The security forces backed by reinforcement Kurdish troops from the neighbouring provinces of Sulaimaniyah and Arbil, deployed in the city and surrounded the IS-held buildings inside the city, while clashes continued with the attackers in the following hours of the day, the source said.
The toll could rise further as the security forces are still fighting the attackers who holed up in the buildings, the source said.
Authorities in the city imposed curfew and blocked the entrances of the city, as dozens of police and Kurdish security forces deployed outside the government buildings and main streets, the source said.
Another attack targeted al-Debis power plant, some 35 km northeast of Kirkuk, when two suicide bombers entered the station sparking heavy clash with the guards, but the attacker took control of part of the facility and executed 16 workers, including four Iranians, the source said.
The Iranian victims were technicians of the Iranian Sunir company, which has been implementing a contract of expanding the power plant with the German Siemens company.
Later in the day, the security forces killed the suicide bombers and the situation in the plant is under control, the source added.
The attack came as the Iraqi security forces backed by anti-IS coalition are carrying out a major offensive to drive out the militants from its last major stronghold in and around the city of Mosul in northern Iraq.