Suicide bomber kills 10 Iraqis in Baghdad
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Suicide bomber kills 10 Iraqis in Baghdad

A suicide bomber struck Iraqis lined up Monday to receive government ration payments, killing 10 other people and wounding about 40 - including women and children. At least 14 other people were killed in other violence nationwide.

india Updated: Feb 14, 2006 02:08 IST

A suicide bomber struck Iraqis lined up Monday to receive government ration payments, killing 10 other people and wounding about 40 - including women and children. At least 14 other people were killed in other violence nationwide.

The suicide attack occurred in a mostly Shiite Muslim eastern district of Baghdad as more than 70 people lined up at a bank to receive government checks to compensate for incomplete food rations. Police said the bomber joined the line and detonated his explosives as security guards were searching people before allowing them to enter the bank.

Ten people were killed and at least 40 wounded, Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Falah al-Mohammedawi said. The wounded included three children and nine women, police said.

Late Thursday, the Arab satellite TV station Al Arabiya broadcast footage of two German hostages seized last month in the industrial city of Beiji, 240 kilometres north of Baghdad. The tape showed the two German engineers - Thomas Nitschke and Rene Braeunlich - surrounded by masked gunmen. The station did not broadcast audio but said the kidnappers warned the German government that this was the "last chance" to meet its demands or the hostages would be slain.

No new demands were given and the kidnappers did not set a deadline, the station said. In an earlier tape, the previously unknown Tawhid and Sunnah group demanded that Germany cut all ties with the US-backed Iraqi government.

The tape was aired three days after a Kuwaiti television Al Rai stationed aired footage showing kidnapped American journalist Jill Carroll, who was seized January 7 in Baghdad. The station said the kidnappers set a deadline of February 26 for their demands to be met or Carroll would be killed.

Violence is continuing in Iraq as the country's political leaders try to form a new government to include all sectarian and ethnic communities, a move the US hopes will help calm the insurgency so American and other foreign troops can begin heading home. On Sunday, Iraq's leading Shiite bloc picked Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari for another term, a major step toward forming a government. But Western diplomats cautioned that the process of finalizing a new government still has weeks if not months to go. Amid political uncertainty, there has been no end to the bloodshed.

Gunmen killed three brothers and two of their sons in an attack on a street in Baqouba, 55 kilometres northeast of Baghdad, police said. All five were members of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the country's leading Shiite political party, police said.

A roadside bomb attack in Iskandariyah, 50 kilometres south of Baghdad, killed two policemen and wounded one, police said. Gunmen also shot dead a policeman protecting electricity-generating facilities near a hospital in Baghdad's Sadr City, police said. In the insurgent-infested city of Ramadi, insurgents killed a police colonel as he drove to work, police said. Another police colonel was shot dead as he was driving to his home in Baghdad's notorious Dora district, officials said.

Drive-by gunmen also killed an Oil Ministry employee as he was driving in western Baghdad and another man in Karmah, 80 kilometres west of Baghdad, police said. Police found the body of a man with a bullet in his head in a Sunni Arab part of west Baghdad, police said.

Three masked gunmen stormed into a restaurant in Fallujah and shot dead a policeman as he was eating a meal, the local hospital reported.

Elsewhere, a prominent Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Mohammed al-Yaqoubi, called for a demonstration Tuesday in front of the British consulate in Basra to protest alleged abuse of Iraqi youths by British soldiers.

Video images first reported by the News of the World, a Sunday newspaper, appeared to show soldiers dragging several young Iraqis into a compound and beating them with fists and batons. The newspaper said the video was filmed in southern Iraq by a corporal two years ago. It did not name the soldier or the unit involved.

British military police said Monday they had arrested one man in their investigation of a video that appeared to show soldiers abusing prisoners in Iraq. The Ministry of Defence declined to identify the man, who was arrested Sunday night.

Al-Yaqoubi is the spiritual leader of the Fadhila party, a member of the Shiite religious alliance that won the largest number of seats in parliamentary elections last December.

In Baghdad, President Jalal Talabani condemned the apparent abuse, but said he was pleased that British authorities moved quickly to investigate.

An Associated Press photographer who witnessed the demonstration that preceded the alleged beatings said it took place Amarah, capital of Maysan province 290 kilometres southeast of Baghdad. Maysan provincial Gov. Adel Mahudar confirmed the demonstration took place near his offices.

"I demand the Iraqi government put an end to these violations against Iraqis and I will meet those youths with their families and ask them if they want to prosecute the British troops," Mahudar said.

First Published: Feb 14, 2006 02:08 IST