Thousands of Iraqi troops launched a crackdown in Kirkuk, ordering residents to stay in their homes in an effort to put down violence that has swelled in the north amid efforts to rein in bloodshed in Baghdad.
On Saturday, authorities announced a curfew had been extended to round-the-clock "until further notice," ordering all residents off the streets, said Kirkuk police chief Lt. Gen. Sherko Shaker.
"This operation comes as a measure to cleansing Kirkuk from weapons, as well as to prevent the militants from having any chance to reorganize their abilities," he said. "We shouldn't give them any chance to rest."
The crackdown came as a suicide bomber rammed a police checkpoint with an explosives-packed car earlier in the day, killing 14 people in the town of Tal Afar.