Suicide bomber Kills 32 mourners at Baghdad funeral

January 1, 2008 4:47:44 PM PST
A suicide attacker killed at least 32 men gathered in eastern Baghdad Tuesday. They were there to mourn the death of a retired Iraqi army officer, a Shiite who was slain last week in a car bombing blamed on al-Qaida in Iraq. The attack is a reminder of the dangers that persist despite Baghdad's recent decline in violence and of the peril for any mass gathering in a country where the bereaved often find themselves targets.

The government, which has sought to reconcile Iraq's often warring Shiites and Sunnis, took a tiny step toward national reconciliation by sending a draft amnesty bill to the parliament speaker Tuesday. But the bill drafted by the Shiite-dominated government falls far short of Sunni demands. It covers less than a quarter of those held in Iraqi prisons, and none of those held by the American military.

In Tuesday's bombing the east Baghdad neighborhood of Zayouna, a mixed Shiite and Sunni district, a man loaded with explosives walked into a funeral tent outside the home of Nabil Hussein Jassim, a retired army officer killed along with another 13 people in a car bombing in downtown Baghdad's Tayaran Square on Friday.

It was the fourth large bombing to target Iraqi civilians or members of the predominantly Sunni tribal movement known as Awakening Councils in the past 10 days. A suicide bomber targeting members of the U.S.-funded movement killed 12 people on Monday in Tarmiyah, just north of Baghdad.