Suicide bomber in Iraq kills at least 11 people in Sunni suburb near Baghdad

By Bushra Juhi, AP
Sunday, July 18, 2010

Suicide bomber kills at least 11 people in Iraq

BAGHDAD — A suicide bomber killed at least 11 people and wounded 31 Sunday in a mostly Sunni district southwest of Baghdad, targeting Iraqi soldiers and members of a government-backed militia, Iraqi officials said.

Violence has dropped dramatically in Iraq in the past two years, but members of the security forces remain the target of repeated attacks blamed on militants trying to destabilize the country as the United States moves ahead with plans to reduce its forces.

The Sunday morning bombing happened as members of the anti-al-Qaida Sunni group, known as Sons of Iraq or Sahwa, lined up to receive paychecks in the town of Radwaniya.

An official at Baghdad’s Yarmouk hospital and a police official said nine of the dead were Sahwa members and the remaining two were soldiers.

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

The Sahwa fighters have played a key role in the reduction of violence in Iraq since they first rose up against their al-Qaida allies in late 2006, joining the U.S. military and government forces in the fight against the terror group.

Four months after an inconclusive parliamentary election in March, Iraq has no government as politicians bicker over who will lead it. The impasse has raised fears that militants will exploit the political vacuum to re-ignite sectarian violence that brought Iraq to the brink of civil war in 2006 and 2007.

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