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Bombing at Iraqi funeral kills 10

Other violence leaves 16 dead, injures Marines

BAGHDAD -- A suicide bomber blew himself up among mourners at a funeral in Saddam Hussein's hometown yesterday evening, killing at least 10 people and wounding 18, police said. Sixteen more people died in political or sectarian violence elsewhere in Iraq.

Also yesterday, several Marines were wounded and a few vehicles were destroyed by a suicide car bombing in Anbar Province, the US military said without elaborating. Iraqi police said the attack was in Fallujah, a heavily guarded city 40 miles west of Baghdad.

The attack on the mourners occurred about 8:15 p.m. in Tikrit, 80 miles north of Baghdad. The bomber mingled among the crowd in a funeral hall and detonated an explosive belt, police said.

Police Captain Laith Hamid, who gave the casualty figure, said the mourners were attending services for the father of a local council member, who was killed in the attack. Part of the ceiling collapsed and some people might be trapped under the rubble, Hamid added.

The bombing was the latest in a series of attacks across northern Iraq in recent days that have tested the capabilities of Iraq's US-trained security forces.

Yesterday, Iraqi authorities in Mosul, 225 miles northwest of Baghdad, lifted a partial curfew that was imposed two days earlier in the eastern part of the city after police repulsed a series of insurgent attacks in which a police colonel was killed.

The Defense Ministry said security forces had arrested 62 people in a crackdown across northern Iraq after the street battles.

Iraqi authorities were heartened by the performance of the Mosul police, who stood their ground and drove off the insurgents.

In November 2004, Mosul's entire 5,500-member police force fled during an insurgent uprising, and the US military had to send American troops and Kurdish fighters to regain control of the city, Iraq's third-largest.

Clashes broke out late yesterday in Baghdad between Shi'ite militiamen and Iraqi soldiers near Hamza Square on the edge of the Sadr City neighborhood, police said. Two militiamen were killed and five combatants were wounded, including two Iraqi soldiers, police said.

About the same time, gunmen ambushed a police patrol in southern Baghdad, killing two policemen and wounding five others, police said.

The clashes occurred as American reinforcements have begun patrolling in Baghdad to help stem sectarian attacks. Much of the violence has been blamed on militias, and a showdown between US troops and the gunmen is believed likely in the coming weeks.

Also yesterday, gunmen in Samarra, about 60 miles north of Baghdad, ambushed a convoy of Iraqi trucks, killing two drivers and setting their vehicles on fire, police Captain Laith Mohammed said.

A sniper killed a government security guard in southern Baghdad, police said. Gunmen in Fallujah killed a Sunni preacher, Sheik Ali Hussein al-Jumaili, when he resisted what appeared to have been a kidnap attempt, police said.

Police found the bodies of five men in Baghdad and one in the southeastern city of Amarah. All had been shot, police said.

A US military statement said coalition forces killed one man during a raid north of Beiji, 155 miles north of Baghdad.

In the Kurdish province of Sulaimaniyah, security forces fired warning shots to disperse hundreds of demonstrators who burned tires and blocked roads to protest high fuel prices and poor living conditions.

Three people were injured in the protest in the town of Chamchamal.

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