MOSUL: A suicide truck bomber triggered a massive blast in a Kurdish village in northern Iraq early today as residents slept, flattening homes and killing at least 20 people, officials said.

The attack just after midnight in Wardak, southeast of the restive city of Mosul, brought down a string of houses built from clay and stone, said a defence ministry official in Baghdad who gave a toll of 20 dead and 35 hurt. A second such blast was foiled when the driver was killed by Iraqi security forces before he could detonate explosives hidden in his truck. Most of the wounded were evacuated to a hospital in Hamdia.