Nearly 50 Iraqis Killed in Suicide Attacks

By Naseer Nouri and Dlovan Brwari
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, November 20, 2005

BAGHDAD, Nov. 19 -- Suicide bombers killed at least 49 people Saturday in attacks targeting a Shiite Muslim funeral in eastern Iraq and an outdoor market in Baghdad, while a disagreement among the country's faction leaders nearly ended a national reconciliation conference on its first day.

In Baiji, about 125 miles northwest of Baghdad, two homemade bombs killed five soldiers from the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division, the military said in a statement. Those deaths, along with that of member of the 101st Airborne who died in Germany from injuries suffered this week in Baiji, unofficially brought the number of American service members killed in action in Iraq to at least 2,090. The official tally is slightly lower pending the notification of relatives of those killed.

The suicide car-bombing in Abu Saida, about 45 miles northeast of the capital, targeted one of the Shiite funeral gatherings that have drawn numerous attacks. The bomber detonated his explosives-packed vehicle outside a house crowded with mourners offering condolences to a city council member over the death of his uncle, police and doctors said. At least 36 people died in the explosion, including two children.

A separate attack hit a market near the Diyala Bridge area just southeast of Baghdad as dozens of people shopped, police Col. Nouri Ashour told the Associated Press. Five women were among the 13 dead.

In Cairo, Kurdish and Shiite delegates walked out of an Iraqi reconciliation conference in its opening hours after a speaker accused all participants of being stooges of the United States. Others persuaded the speaker to apologize, and the conference resumed.

The gathering, organized by the Arab League, is scheduled to continue through Monday.

A U.S. and Iraqi raid on a suspected al Qaeda in Iraq safe house in Mosul sparked a three-hour firefight in which four insurgents and four policemen were killed and three guerrillas blew themselves up, said Gov. Duraid Kashmoulaof Nineveh province.

Iraqi and U.S. forces had suspected Abu Musab Zarqawi, leader of Iraq's most feared insurgent group, might be at the house, Kashmoula said. Zarqawi's whereabouts have been the topic of a stream of murky reports; U.S. military officials have said they believe Zarqawi has vowed not to be taken alive.

The U.S. military was examining the dead late Saturday, the governor said. U.S. military spokesmen in Baghdad said they had no information other than word of the firefight.

Brwari reported from Mosul.


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