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Bombing near Baghdad kills 25

Suspect arrested in Jill Carroll case

A CHANCE TO PLAY - For the first time in five years, Iraq's soccer league final was held before a full crowd, including bomb-search dogs and riot police, in Baghdad yesterday. A CHANCE TO PLAY - For the first time in five years, Iraq's soccer league final was held before a full crowd, including bomb-search dogs and riot police, in Baghdad yesterday. (Mohammed Ameen/ Reuters)
By Kim Gamel
Associated Press / August 25, 2008
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BAGHDAD - A suicide bomber blew himself up yesterday during a celebration to welcome home an Iraqi detainee released from US custody, killing at least 25 people and wounding 29, Iraqi officials said.

The US military, meanwhile, announced the arrest of an Al Qaeda in Iraq figure accused of planning the 2006 kidnapping of American journalist Jill Carroll, one of the highest-profile attacks against Westerners in Iraq.

The suicide attack occurred inside one of several tents near a house in the Abu Ghraib area on Baghdad's western outskirts, according to residents and police. It was unclear whether the former detainee was among the casualties.

A woman who was wounded but declined to give her name for security reasons said she was preparing food behind the tents when the blast occurred at about 9 p.m., knocking her and her three young children off their feet.

Residents and police said Ayyid Salim al-Zubaie, a sheik in the mainly Sunni area, had invited dozens of guests to a banquet in honor of his son, who was released earlier in the day from Camp Bucca in southern Iraq.

Residents said the son had quarreled with Al Qaeda members while in detention and might have been the target of the attack. The guests also included several members of the local awakening council, a US-allied group that has turned against Al Qaeda.

The announcement of the arrest of Salim Abdullah Ashur al-Shujayri, also known as Abu Othman, was a major breakthrough in a series of kidnappings.

He was captured Aug. 11 in Baghdad and accused of being "the planner behind the kidnapping" of Carroll, a Christian Science Monitor reporter who was seized Jan. 7, 2006, and released three months later, according to the US military.

Carroll was seized in west Baghdad and her interpreter was killed. The kidnappers, a group calling itself the Revenge Brigade, demanded the release of all female detainees in Iraq.

US troops also captured another Al Qaeda figure, Ali Rash Nasir Jiyad al-Shammari, on Aug. 17 in Baghdad, the military said. He was accused of being a senior adviser for the terror network and funneling money, weapons, and explosives to insurgents in the capital.

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