6 Iraqis Die in Bomb Attack on Mourners

From a Times Staff Writer

A suicide bomber Thursday drove his car into a crowded funeral tent in Kirkuk, killing six people and injuring 34, and sectarian violence flared anew near Baqubah.

A witness to the attack in Kirkuk, about 150 miles north of Baghdad, said the bomber drove a white sedan into the tent, set up for people mourning a soldier killed two days earlier.

South of Kirkuk, an Iraqi soldier was killed and seven troops were injured when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb as they returned from a reconnaissance mission in the Ryad area.

American and Iraqi forces, meanwhile, battled Shiite Muslim militias in the predominantly Shiite village of Khairnabat, near Baqubah, an area that has been racked by sectarian fighting this week. Iraqi police said they had captured Iranians fighting alongside the local Al Mahdi militia, loyal to Muqtada Sadr.


U.S. helicopters bombed orchards outside the village, where militiamen were believed to be hiding. An Iraqi colonel and two of his troops were killed by a sniper in the clashes. Several civilian casualties also were reported.

Baqubah police said the fighting began when armed Shiites from Khairnabat started attacking Sunni families fleeing from another village. The villagers apparently feared retribution after a bombing Monday that targeted Shiites.