Middle East

Suicide bomb kills over 100 in Iraq

Updated: 2007-07-08 08:31
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Extremists hit a similarly isolated location hours before the Armili blast. Friday night, a suicide car bomber hit a funeral tent in the Kurdish Sunni village of Zargosh, about 75 miles northeast of Baghdad, killing 22 people.

The US military may be forced to tolerate attacks further north as they focus on pacifying Baghdad and its surroundings, hoping that calm in the capital will give the government time to take key political steps. Washington is pressing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to pass measures to encourage Sunni Arabs to turn away from support of the insurgency to back the government.

Attacks have fallen in recent weeks in much of Baghdad. Still, a suicide car bomber blasted an Iraqi army patrol in an eastern commercial district of the capital, killing five soldiers and a civilian, police said.

Roadside bombings killed five US soldiers in Baghdad on Friday and another on Thursday, the US military said in its latest statements on US casualties. Two Marines were killed in fighting Friday in western Anbar province, it said.

Dozens of Sunni Muslim sheiks and tribal leaders met Saturday in the western city of Ramadi, pledging to fight terrorism and restore peace to Anbar province - for years the heart of the insurgency.

Among them were members of the Anbar Awakening, which was formed in April by more than 200 Sunni sheiks whose followers are now cooperating with US forces against al-Qaida and other insurgents. The meeting also called for the release of security detainees who had not been convicted of crimes and for a bigger role for their group in representing Sunni interests.

In the far south of Iraq, British troops came under heavy attack by militants in Basra, killing one soldier and wounding three, the British military said Saturday.

Britain has withdrawn hundreds of troops from Iraq, leaving a force of around 5,500 based mainly on the fringes of Basra, Iraq's second-largest city, 340 miles southeast of Baghdad. British bases come under frequent mortar attacks from Shiite militias. The US currently has about 155,000 troops in Iraq.

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