Latest in wave of Iraq suicide bombs kills 10

Wed Jan 2, 2008 3:05pm EST
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BAQUBA, Iraq (Reuters) - A suicide bomber killed 10 people in Iraq on Wednesday, Iraqi authorities said, the latest in a wave of suicide attacks that has seen a major strike nearly every day of the past week.

Iraqi Army Major-General Abdul-Karim al-Rubaie, chief of security operations for the volatile Diyala province, said the bomber blew themselves up with an explosive vest at a checkpoint in the provincial capital Baquba north of Baghdad.

The U.S. military said the bomber jumped onto the hood of a car driven by a member of a volunteer neighborhood patrol, killing the driver and three others.

The Iraqi authorities said the bomber was a woman, while the U.S. military said the perpetrator was male.

The attack came a day after a bomber detonated his explosive vest in a tent crowded with mourners at a Baghdad funeral. Police raised the death toll from that strike to 34 on Wednesday, making it the worst in the capital in six months.

U.S. forces said the strikes showed al Qaeda militants can still carry out attacks that kill large numbers of people despite a decline in violence across the country.

"We have said all along ... they do still have the capability to conduct these horrific attacks, barbaric attacks that target innocent civilians in their effort to try to excite sectarian tensions," spokesman Major-General Kevin Bergner said.

Wednesday's bomb struck near crowded shops and stalls. A Reuters photographer at the scene said he saw pools of blood, burnt hair and severed body parts.

He later counted five dead bodies and 16 wounded at a hospital. Police told him other casualties, including 28 wounded, were taken elsewhere.   Continued...

<p>A resident stands near the coffins of victims, killed in Tuesday's bomb attack, after claiming their bodies from al-Kindi hospital morgue in Baghdad January 2, 2008. REUTERS/Mahmoud Raouf Mahmoud</p>