Suicide bomber kills 23 near Baghdad

February 05, 2013 - 4:43:30 am

TAJI, Iraq: A suicide bomber blew himself up near a group of anti-Al Qaeda fighters receiving salaries north of Baghdad yesterday, killing 23 people, the second bloody attack to hit Iraq in as many days.

The blast, which officials said also wounded at least 44 people, came after Baghdad raised the salaries of the mostly-Sunni militiamen in a bid to placate weeks of anti-government demonstrations in predominantly-Sunni areas of Iraq.

The bomber struck at 11am in Taji as the anti-Qaeda fighters were collecting their salaries.

At least 23 people were killed, a vast majority of them militiamen but also three soldiers, according to a security official and a medical source. Another 44 were wounded, among them eight soldiers.

In Baghdad, a roadside bomb killed a police officer and wounded three of his colleagues, while four people were shot dead overnight in Kirkuk. AFP

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