Suicide bomber kills at least 6 at Iraqi funeral

Mon Oct 5, 2009 10:52am EDT

FALLUJA, Iraq (Reuters) – A suicide bomber walked into an Iraqi funeral tent and blew himself up Monday, killing at least six mourners and wounding 15, Iraqi police said.

The toll from the attack in the town of Haditha, 190 km (120 miles) west of Baghdad, could rise, police said.

Once the heartland of a raging Sunni Arab insurgency, Iraq’s western Anbar province has calmed down since Sunni tribes allied with U.S. troops kicked out Al Qaeda in 2007.

But Islamist militants have shown themselves still capable of launching frequent bomb attacks. Crowded gatherings are favorite targets of some militant groups as they seek headline-grabbing death tolls.

In August, a car bomb in a crowded market in Haditha killed 6 people and wounded 21.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who is attempting to woo voters across the ethnic and sectarian divide before national elections scheduled for January, has been keen to portray himself as the man who brought security to Iraq.

He is fighting that election on a law and order ticket. In the northern city of Mosul, currently the epicenter of Iraq’s insurgency, Iraqi police say they have arrested at least 200 suspected insurgents in sweeps in the past week.

Violence has fallen sharply across the country in the past 18 months, but it remains a dangerous place.

(Reporting by Fadhil al-Badrani; Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

[original]

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