The city of Kirkuk–long a hotbed of sectarian tensions–was struck with a particularly deadly suicide attack. “A suicide car bomber attacked a provincial police headquarters in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Sunday morning, the police and the city’s civil defense director said, killing at least 36 people and wounding 105. Three other suicide attackers who tried to enter the police headquarters after the blast were killed by the police. Security forces cordoned off the site and closed government buildings and the main roads in Kirkuk as ambulances took the wounded to a hospital. The commander of the Kirkuk police was among those wounded and was taken to Erbil for treatment. Nauzad Mohamed, a police officer who was wounded in the attack, said the bomber was ‘driving a police car and wearing a police uniform’…After the blast, others attacked the police headquarters on foot.” (NYT http://nyti.ms/Y3TIeE)
Iran Ready for Nuke Talks With USA?
Some cautiously optimistic news, about four days after the USA tested the waters with an offer of renewed talks. “Iran’s foreign minister said Sunday that his country was open to a renewed offer of direct talks with the United States on its nuclear program and looked favorably on a proposal for a new round of multilateral nuclear negotiations on Feb. 25 in Kazakhstan. But the Iranian official, Ali Akbar Salehi, does not have the power in the Iranian system to decide these matters on his own, so his comments were viewed by European and American officials as more atmospheric, designed for the trans-Atlantic audience at the Munich Security Conference, than definitive.” (NYT http://nyti.ms/Y3UMiA)