MOSUL -- A suicide bomber blew up a sport utility vehicle at the Iraqi army headquarters in the northern city of Mosul today, wounding 45 people, police said.
The powerful blast caused extensive damage to the army post, located near a police station, and at least 10 nearby houses in eastern Mosul, 390 kilometers north of Baghdad, police said.
Eighteen soldiers, five police officers, and 22 civilians were wounded in the attack, police said.
While overall violence in Iraq has dropped sharply following years of sectarian warfare that killed tens of thousands of people, bombings and assassinations still occur daily.
U.S. and Iraqi officials have said they expect attacks to rise before parliamentary elections scheduled for March 7.
Mosul, one of Iraq's most diverse and dangerous cities, has been the site of frequent attacks in recent months, including a drive-by shooting and at least three roadside bombings targeting army patrols, police, and civilians in the last two weeks.
Police said two insurgents were killed in Mosul while trying to launch a mortar round 10 days ago, and U.S. forces said four men were killed after attacking a patrol that came upon them digging a hole for a roadside bomb on January 8.
Several attacks in Mosul late last year targeted Christian churches.