A suicide car bomb exploded near a regional government ministry in a predominantly Kurdish province of Sulaimaniyah on Tuesday, killing at least nine people and wounding four, a security official said.
The blast occurred on the outskirts of Sulaimaniyah city right outside the ministry, which houses Kurdish forces known as peshmerga. The explosion killed six peshmerga and three civilians and wounded two pershmerga and two civilians, said Lt. Col. Taha Redha, a peshmerga official.
It was one of two suicide attacks by insurgents on Tuesday in the generally peaceful province, which is 260 kilometers (160 miles) northeast of Baghdad.
About 45 minutes earlier, a suicide car bomber rammed his vehicle into a seven-car convoy carrying Mullah Bakhtiyar, a senior Kurdish official in President Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party, said police Col. Najim Al-Din Qader. The blast in Sulaimaniya city wounded two of the convoy's guards and damaged two of its cars, Qader said.
Sulaimaniyah, the city and province both have the same name, is where the PUK party is based, and it is considered one of the most peaceful areas of Iraq.