At Least 15 Killed by Female Bomber in Iraq

By Ernesto Londoño
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, June 23, 2008

BAGHDAD, June 22 -- A female suicide bomber killed at least 15 people, including several police officers, and wounded dozens Sunday in an attack in front of a government building in Diyala province, Iraqi and U.S. officials said.

It was the second time this year that a suicide bomber, apparently intent on killing police officers, attacked the busy downtown area of the provincial capital, Baqubah, about 35 miles northeast of Baghdad.

The explosion occurred about 12:30 p.m., according to Lt. Gen. Abdul Karim al-Robaei, the commander of the province's security operations center. At least eight policemen, including a captain, were killed, he said.

The U.S. military said more than 45 people were wounded in the attack.

Jassim Mohammed al-Saedi, a wounded policeman, said officers were transporting prisoners to court when he heard the blast.

In a telephone interview from Baqubah General Hospital, Saedi said the attacker stepped out of a car, walked toward a group of police officers and detonated explosives strapped to her waist.

The U.S. military says female bombers have carried out at least 21 suicide attacks this year in Iraq, up from eight last year.

Special correspondent Saad al-Izzi contributed to this report.

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