Thursday, December 11, 2008

55 dead in bombing at restaurant in Iraq's north

A suicide bomber struck a crowded restaurant on Thursday where Kurdish officials were meeting with Arab tribal leaders to discuss long-standing ethnic tensions, killing at least 55 people in Iraq's north, police said.
The attack outside the northern city of Kirkuk was the deadliest attack in Iraq in nearly six months.
Suspicion fell on extremist groups trying to undercut ethnic reconciliation efforts. Such groups, particularly al-Qaida in Iraq, Ansar al-Sunnah and Ansar al-Islam, use suicide attacks to exploit divisions.

The bombing near the ethniclly mixed city came during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. "Among the dead are women and children as the bomber blew himself up inside the family section," Ahmad Saleh, an Iraqi journalist who was near the scene of the blast, told Al Jazeera.

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