Iraq officials: Car bomb kills 41 at funeral

2013-09-21 22:05


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Baghdad - Iraqi authorities say an explosives-packed car driven by a suicide attacker has struck a funeral in a Shi'ite part of Baghdad, killing at least 41 people and wounding dozens.

Police say the attacker struck on Saturday in the Iraqi capital's Sadr City neighbourhood. They say at least 50 are wounded.

Hospital officials confirmed the casualty figures. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorised to release the information.

The attack followed a suicide assault on a police headquarters and other insurgent attacks in northern Iraq earlier in the day that killed 11 members of the security forces.

The incidents are the latest in a months-long surge of violence that is raising fears Iraq is slipping back toward the widespread sectarian killings of 2004 - 2008.


Police officials said the deadliest of Saturday's incidents came when four suicide bombers stormed a headquarters for police commandos in the city of Beiji, killing seven policemen and wounding 21 others.

Guards killed one suicide bomber while the three other bombers were able to set off their explosive belts inside the compound, said the police. Beiji, a centre for oil refining, is 250km north of Baghdad.

The police said that most of the members of the commando unit were not in the compound at the time of the attack as they were carrying out a security operation outside the city, otherwise the casualty figures would have been higher.

In other violence, gunmen shot and killed two prison guards after storming their houses in a village near the city of Mosul early on Saturday.

Also in Mosul, two soldiers were killed and four others were wounded when a roadside bomb struck their convoy.

Mosul, 360km northwest of Baghdad, is a former militant stronghold.

Insurgents frequently target security forces in an attempt to undermine public confidence in the Shi'ite-led government in Baghdad.

More than 4 000 people have been killed between April and August, UN figures show. Another 396 have been killed so far in September, according to an Associated Press tally.

Saturday's violence comes as voters in the northern Kurdish autonomous region cast ballots in local elections for the Kurdistan Regional Government's 111-seat legislature.

Iraqi Kurds are looking to bolster their autonomy while insulating their increasingly prosperous enclave from the growing violence roiling the rest of the country.
Read more on:    iraq  |  security

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