At least 72 people were killed in a truck bombing near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, the bloodiest attack in 16 months, local officials said on Sunday. Saturday's attack in the predominantly Shiite Turkmen town of Taza Kharmatu came just 10 days before a deadline for US troops to withdraw from Iraq's cities and towns as part of a security accord between Baghdad and Washington. "The toll from the explosion yesterday (Saturday) in Taza is 72 dead," said Sarhad Qadir, the top policeman for Kirkuk's outskirts, who added that more than 200 people had been injured. Ibrahim Mohammed Jassim, a doctor at Kirkuk's morgue, confirmed the death toll but added: "It is likely that the toll will increase because search operations have not yet concluded."