- The Washington Times - Monday, April 30, 2007

12:16 p.m.

BAGHDAD (AP) — A suicide bomber wearing an explosive belt blew himself up inside a funeral tent today in a Shi’ite enclave in a volatile province north of Baghdad, killing at least 20 people and wounding 30, officials said.

The attack occurred at 6:30 p.m. as a Shi’ite family was holding a funeral in Khalis, a flashpoint Shi’ite city in Diyala province, where U.S.-Iraqi forces have seen fierce fighting with Sunni and Shi’ite militants.

Ibrahim Abdullah, a doctor at the local hospital, said 20 people were killed and 30 wounded in the blast.

Five U.S. troops were killed in separate attacks in the capital this weekend, including three in a single roadside bombing, the military said today, pushing the death toll past 100 in the deadliest month so far this year.

Both attacks occurred in eastern Baghdad, a predominantly Shi’ite area where American and Iraqi forces have stepped up their activities as part of a security crackdown that began on Feb. 14 to quell the sectarian violence.

In other violence today, a suicide car bomber apparently targeting an Interior Ministry convoy struck an Iraqi checkpoint near a busy square in the predominantly Sunni area of Harthiyah in western Baghdad, killing four people and wounding 10, police said.


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