Iraq Twelve people were killed when militants attacked a police checkpoint north of Tikrit and then detonated a car bomb at the entrance to the city on Saturday, Iraqi police and military sources said.
The spokesman for the Salahuddin province police force, Col. Mohammed al-Jabouri, said three terrorists rammed their explosives-laden vehicles early Saturday morning into the main check point near the town of al-Salam at the province's northern entrance. Al-Jabouri added that 34 other security officers were wounded.
The governor of Salahuddin province, Ahmed al-Jabouri, accused the ISIS of being behind the attacks, vowing to "retaliate for the martyrs by chopping off the heads of Daesh" militants, using the Arabic acronym for the group. Al-Jabouri called on security forces to review their plans and on residents to cooperate with the authorities.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but ISIS terrorists have claimed multiple similar attacks. The Sunni extremists frequently launch attacks targeting Iraq's security forces and civilians in public areas. The group stepped up attacks in recent months as it has lost territory in northern and western Iraq that it had captured in 2014.
An unverified photograph shared on social media showed two dark plumes of smoke rising into the sky near arches at the city's northern gates.
After the attacks, police tightened security in Tikrit, which already had some of the most restrictive security measures in place following its recapture from ISIS. It was not clear if other assailants were still in the area.