KIRKUK, Iraq,(Reuters) – Insurgents destroyed a major bridge that connects the Iraqi capital Baghdad with the northern cities of Kirkuk and Arbil early on Saturday, police said.
They said the insurgents used explosives to destroy the Sarha Bridge, near the town of Tuz Khurmato on the Chinchal river, some 150 km (100 miles) north of Baghdad. The blast severely damaged the bridge, forcing motorists into detours and traffic jams.
Several bridges have been targeted in Iraq, most notably the popular Sarafiya bridge which was destroyed in April in a truck bombing that sent large sections of the steel structure crashing into the Tigris in central Baghdad.
Many Iraqis believe insurgents target bridges to physically separate Shi’ite and Sunni Muslim areas in central Iraq, but some say the attacks are meant to frustrate people who have to endure time consuming detours into dangerous areas.
The Iraqi government recently imposed restrictions that ban trucks from travelling on all but two of the capital’s 13 bridges in fear of another major attack.