Sunni Arab leader killed in suicide bombing in northern Iraq

By Xinhua,

Baghdad : A deputy leader of a Sunni Arab political party was killed in a suicide bomb attack at his house in northern Iraq, a well-informed police source said on Monday.

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Hassan Zaidan al-Lihiebi, deputy leader of the Iraqi National Dialogue Front, was at the guest house at his home in the village of Albu-Ali, when a suicide bomber approached him and blew up his explosive belt, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The village is located at an area between the provinces of Nineveh and Salahudin, the source added.

The attack took place at a time that Sunni Arabs and Kurds are in a fierce competition to control the seats of the provincial councils of Nineveh in the coming elections due to be held on Jan.31.

Lihiebi himself was not a candidate for the elections in the province, but he is part of the campaign of his party, led by the Sunni Arab secular Salih al-Mutlak.

Nineveh province, with its capital city Mosul some 400 km north of Baghdad, is said to be one of the last strongholds of al-Qaida fighters in the war-torn country.