Suicide bombing targeting anti-Al Qaeda Iraqis kills 17

By Xinhua

Tikrit (Iraq) : A suicide car bomb struck a checkpoint manned by an Awakening Council group outside a village in Salahudin province of Iraq Sunday, killing 17 people and wounding more than 40, a police source said.

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“A suicide bomber rammed in the afternoon his explosive-laden car into a checkpoint outside the village of Mazarie near the town of Yathrib, 70 km north of Baghdad,” the source from the town’s police told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The source said the casualties include Awakening Council members and civilians. Earlier, the source put the death toll at four, with eight injured.

The Awakening Council groups are Sunni fighters who turned up against Al Qaeda in Iraq network, cooperating with the US troops and Iraqi security forces by guarding neighbourhoods or providing information.

Rifts emerged between predominantly Sunni insurgent groups and the Al Qaeda in Iraq organization after the latter adopted a hardline Islam and exercised indiscriminate killings against both Shia and Sunni Muslim communities.

The US military in Iraq said the newly captured Al Qaeda documents showed that the Sunnis’ insurgence has considerably discouraged the terrorist group.