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Middle east

At least 25 killed in suicide attack on Kurdish funeral, scores injured

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Latest update : 2009-03-24

At least 25 people have been killed and more than 50 injured in a suicide bombing on a funeral in north-eastern Iraq's volatile Diyala province, police said, adding that the toll would most likely rise.

AFP - At least 25 people were killed and 50 others were wounded in a suicide bomb attack as a Kurdish family was receiving condolences northeast of the Iraqi capital on Monday, local officials said.

The attack took place in Jalawla, 130 kilometres (80 miles) from Baghdad.

Mohammed Osman, a local official in Khanaqin, near Jalawla, told AFP that the bomber wearing an explosives belt struck as a local family was receiving condolences.

Twenty-five people were killed and 50 wounded, a security official said. It was not immediately clear if a Kurdish communist chief, who was taking condolences for the death of his father, was among the casualties.

Jalawla, in the dangerous province of Diyala, is home to a mixed population of Shiite Kurds and Sunni Arabs, many of them close to Al-Qaeda.

Earlier on Monday, eight people were killed and 16 wounded when a bomb exploded close to a car repair workshop near Abu Ghraib on the western outskirts of Baghdad, security officials said.

Violence has lowered in intensity since the end of 2007 -- with the US military stepping up anti-insurgency operations and Iraqi security forces being strengthened -- but deadly attacks still take place on an almost daily basis.

In 2007, a total of 17,430 Iraqis were killed, compared to 6,772 last year. The casualty toll for the past three months has been the lowest for a quarter year period since the US-led invasion of March 2003.

But ordinary Iraqis are still faced with daily hardships and indiscriminate attacks six years after the toppling of president Saddam Hussein, the International Committee of the Red Cross president said last week.

"Millions of civilians are still facing hardship every day," Jakob Kellenberger said after a visit.

"Indiscriminate attacks continue to leave dozens of people killed or injured on a daily basis despite improvements in the security situation in many parts of Iraq."

Date created : 2009-03-23

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