Suicide bomber kills 17 at Iraq funeral meal

The Baltimore Sun

BAGHDAD -- A suicide bomber walked undetected into a funeral yesterday and blew himself up, killing as many as 17 people and injuring nine in a predominantly Sunni village near Tikrit, police said.

The explosion in the Hajaj village killed Iraqis attending a funeral for Antar Abdullah, a tribal leader and brother of the Salahuddin provincial governor's security chief.

The security officer, Ahmed Abdullah, left the funeral minutes before the attack and was not injured.

Many other officials - police, tribal chiefs and members of volunteer security forces - also attended the funeral, although police said they survived the bombing.

The attack comes one day after a teen suicide bomber walked into a party carrying a box of chocolates and detonated hidden explosives, killing himself, his cousin - a Sunni fighter working with U.S. and Iraqi forces - and four others.

Nobody questioned the teen's presence because he was a member of the family and known to many in the village in al-Anbar province.

Like that incident, yesterday's suicide bomber was able to infiltrate the funeral tent where people had gathered for the final day of mourning, an event marked by a communal meal in which people come and go throughout the evening.

Elsewhere, a parked car exploded in Qaiyara, about 50 miles south of Mosul, killing two civilians and wounding nine others.

The explosion was targeting an Iraqi army patrol unit, said Brig. Gen. Abdul-Kareem Juboori, commander of Ninevah's police operation.

Seven bodies were found around Baghdad yesterday, all men who had been shot, police said.

The U.S. military also reported yesterday the deaths of two personnel over the weekend.

A soldier was killed Saturday by an improvised explosive device attack in Arab Jabour just south of Baghdad.

A Marine died the same day while conducting combat operations in Anbar province.

Their names were not released pending notification of their families.

Kimi Yoshino writes for the Los Angeles Times.

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