Suicide bomber kills 18 at Iraq funeral | world | Hindustan Times
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Suicide bomber kills 18 at Iraq funeral

A suicide bomber, apparently targeting a senior security official, has blown himself up inside a funeral tent in a village north of Baghdad, killing 18 people.

world Updated: Jan 22, 2008 21:22 IST

A suicide bomber, apparently targeting a senior security official, has blown himself up inside a funeral tent in a village north of Baghdad, killing 18 people in the latest of a series of deadly attacks fast chipping away at the notion of a calmer Iraq.

The bombing also gave credence to repeated assertions by the US military that the fight against Al-Qaeda in not over yet. Significantly, Monday's bombing was the third in as many days to take place in Sunni areas thought to be have been largely rid of al-Qaeda militants.

There was no claim of responsibility for yesterday's bombing in Hajaj village about halfway between the oil hub of Beiji, 250 kilometre north of Baghdad, and Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit about 30 kilometre to the south, but police said it bore the hallmarks of Al-Qaeda.

The officials said the bomber's target was Ahmed Abdullah, deputy governor in charge of security for Salahuddin province, of which Tikrit is the capital. They said Abdullah was a relative of the deceased, Antar Mohammed Abed, a former bodyguard of Saddam's wife, Sajida Khairallah Tulfah, who became a farmer after returning to Hajaj in 2003 following the ouster of the late dictator's regime.

Abdullah was not hurt, but Abed's son and a grandson were among the 18 killed, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorised to speak to the media. Witnesses said about 70 people were inside the tent.