Suicide bomber kills 11 at a Shi'ite funeral

SYLVIA WESTALL
Last updated 06:05 11/12/2013

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Middle East

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A suicide bomber killed 11 people and wounded 20 at a Shi'ite Muslim funeral in a city northeast of Baghdad today, police said, as Iraqi insurgents pursue a campaign of deadly attacks.

The bombing took place in Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) from of the capital at a funeral for a group of Shi'ite shepherds who had been killed by unidentified gunmen outside the city.

No one immediately claimed responsibility, but suicide bombings have been a favoured tactic of Sunni insurgents linked to al Qaeda and who are widely blamed for this year's surge in violence that has mostly targeted civilians.

Baquba has been hit by some of the deadliest attacks, and earlier this month a suicide bomber blew himself up at a funeral in a nearby town.

Iraq's Shi'ite-led government says the violence is being fuelled by the war in neighbouring Syria, which has stirred sectarian tensions across the Middle East.

According to the United Nations, more than 8000 people have been killed in Iraq in the first 11 months of 2013, meaning that this year may end up being the bloodiest since Sunni-Shi'ite bloodshed peaked in 2006-07.

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- Reuters

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