A suicide bomber blew himself up at the headquarters of a Kurdish political party in Iraq's ethnically mixed province of Diyala on Sunday, killing 18 people, local officials and medics said.
A further 60 people were wounded in the attack in the town of Jalawla, 115 km (70 miles) northeast of Baghdad, most of them members of the Kurdish security forces who were guarding the office of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).
“A suicide bomber parked a car packed with explosives near the PUK headquarters and when it went off, he managed to sneak into the building and detonated his vest,” said Khorsheed Ahmed, the chairman of Jalawla city council.
Jalawla lies within a band of disputed territory between the Kurdistan region and the rest of the country, and is one of several towns where Iraqi central government troops and Kurdish peshmerga fighters have previously faced off against each other.
The Sunni militant Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted on its Twitter feed, which it said was revenge for the arrest of Muslim women in Iraq's Kurdish region.
ISIL said the attack had been carried out by two suicide bombers, the first of whom blew himself up inside a car within the PUK party compound, with the second detonating his vest amongst people who had gathered to evacuate the wounded.