BAGHDAD — In the worst terrorist attack in Iraq in months, a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a gathering of police recruits Tuesday, killing 60 people and wounding about 150, police officials said.
The attack in Tikrit, north of Baghdad, best known as Saddam Hussein's hometown, was the latest to target Iraqi security forces.
Iraq's army and police have made considerable progress in fighting al-Qaida-linked militants but continue to suffer sporadic violence as the U.S. military prepares to withdraw its remaining troops by the end of the year.
Prospective police recruits were gathered outside a secured entrance to the provincial police headquarters for the third day of a recruiting drive when the bomber detonated a vest rigged with explosives about 9:30 a.m., according to police in Tikrit.
A police spokesman, Col. Hatem Akram, said officials had warned the recruits over loudspeakers not to collect near the entrance because terrorists have targeted such gatherings in the past.
Police said that the victims in Tikrit, about 100 miles north of Baghdad, were mostly young jobseekers who were waiting for interviews and medical checks. While joblessness in Iraq is endemic, the planning ministry reported this week that some 100,000 positions would be available this year in the security services.