At least 25 alleged members of the Al Qaeda terrorist network died when a truck bomb they were loading with explosives in a village north of Baghdad blew up prematurely, a police official told Efe on Monday.
The official said the presumed terrorists were intending to attack "an important government installation" in Salaheddin province with the truck bomb but it blew up while they were loading the explosives on Sunday night in a village northeast of Samarra.
Alerted by village residents, Iraqi security forces were dispatched to the site of the blast, where they collected the bodies and took them to a forensic center for identification.
In addition to the fatalities, an undetermined number of extremists were wounded in the explosion, but they fled before security forces arrived on the scene, the police source said.
The intended target of the terrorists is not specifically known, but Salaheddin province is the birthplace of deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and a mainly Sunni region.
Meanwhile, the president of the Iraqi Parliament and a prominent representative of the country's Sunni minority, Osama al Nuyaifi, and his brother, Nineveh provincial Gov. Azil al Nuyaifi, were unhurt Monday in an assassination attempt in the Al Gafran zone south of Mosul, the provincial capital.
Iraqi police told Efe that a bomb exploded as the men's convoy was passing - en route to Erbil, the capital of the autonomous region of Kurdistan.
One of the wheels on the parliamentary leader's vehicle was destroyed in the blast, but he was unhurt and the convoy continued on to Erbil after those wounded in the attack were taken to a nearby hospital.
Osama al Nuyaifi in recent months has been very critical of the management of Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, a Shiite, accusing him of using the army to suppress the growing protests by Sunnis.
Iraq is experiencing a resurgence of sectarian violence and terrorist attacks. In 2013, 8,868 people - 7,818 of them civilians - died in violent incidents and attacks, according to United Nations figures. EFE