Officials report massacre in Diyala

Updated: 2007-07-17 19:45

BAGHDAD - Dozens of Shiite villagers in the north were massacred by Sunni extremists, two officials said Tuesday, while a car bomb exploded across the street from the Iranian Embassy in the heart of Baghdad and killed four civilians.

Men weep after a suicide bomber detonated a truck wired with explosives near a Kurdish political party's offices, followed by two other car bomb blasts, in the northern city of Kirkuk 290 kilometers (180 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, July 16, 2007. The coordinated attack, believed to be the deadliest in Kirkuk since the four-year Iraq conflict began, killed more than 80 people and wounded more than 150, police said. [AP]

Meanwhile, Shiite legislators loyal to anti-US cleric Muqtada al-Sadr decided to end their five-week boycott of parliament, one of their leaders said. The Shiite protest along with a separate Sunni boycott had blocked work on key benchmark legislation demanded by the US.

Police Col. Ragheb Radhi al-Omairi said 29 members of a Shiite tribe were massacred overnight in Diyala province when dozens of suspected Sunni gunmen raided their village near Muqdadiyah, about 60 miles northeast of Baghdad. The dead included four women, al-Omairi said.

Al-Omairi said he had not seen the bodies and it was unclear whether they had been retrieved.

An Iraqi army officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not supposed to release the information, said the attack occurred in the village of Diwailiya and that at least 10 bodies were mutilated in the hour-long raid.

In Baghdad, the deadliest bombing occurred when a suicide driver detonated his vehicle near an Iraqi army patrol in Zayouna, a mostly Shiite area of eastern Baghdad, killing 10 people, including six civilians, police said.

Police said 11 people, including seven civilians, were wounded.

The blast near the Iranian Embassy occurred in late morning a few hundred yards north of the US-controlled Green Zone, sending a huge cloud of black smoke over the city. Three civilians also were wounded, said police.

All the Baghdad police officers spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release information.

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