Suicide attack kills local leader in northern Iraq

4:13am EST

MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) – A suicide bomber killed a local leader in northern Iraq on Monday, police said, the latest attack in an area where al Qaeda remains a threat.

The bomber detonated an explosive vest as leaders from the town of Tal Afar, about 420 km (260 miles) northwest of Baghdad in Nineveh province, were leaving a funeral, police said.

Hussein Akris, an independent politician who heads the Tal Afar governing council, was killed in the attack, according to Abdul Rahim al-Shimmari, head of the security and defense committee in the Nineveh provincial council.

One of Akris’ bodyguards was also killed and seven others, local politicians and guards, were wounded, police said.

Violence in Iraq is much lower than at the peak of sectarian killing in 2006-07. But in religiously and ethnically diverse places such as Nineveh, Sunni Islamist insurgents continue to target police, soldiers and civilians.

Iraq has also been shaken by a string of high-profile, bloody attacks targeting government buildings in Baghdad. Earlier this month, up to 112 people were killed in a string of bombings across the capital.

[original]

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