Iraqi officials say a suicide blast in northern Iraq has killed a senior military official and three bodyguards.

Police officials say the Saturday morning attack occurred when a suicide bomber detonated his explosive belt near Ali Aouni’s car as he was leaving his house in Tal Afar, 420 km northwest of Baghdad.

Violence has decreased in Iraq, but insurgent attacks are still frequent.

Police say Aouni was the head of the intelligence academy in the Iraqi defence ministry.

A medic in Tal Afar hospital confirmed the death toll.

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to talk to media.

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