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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 January 2006, 16:01 GMT
Bomber kills 32 at Iraq funeral
Injured man in hospital after the Miqdadiya attack
More than 100 mourners were at the funeral that was targeted
A suicide bomb attack on Shia funeral north of Baghdad has killed at least 32 people and injured dozens of others.

Mourners took cover in a graveyard amid mortar and automatic weapons fire, before a suicide bomber detonated explosives attached to his body.

The attack near Baquba is the bloodiest since Iraq's election in mid-December.

A spate of other incidents on Wednesday left dozens dead and injured, and a convoy of 60 fuel tankers was ambushed just days after deliveries resumed.

At least 18 vehicles in the escorted convoy were damaged or destroyed in the attack about 40 km (25 miles) north of Baghdad, according to police.

After a drop in insurgent attacks around the time of the elections, car bombings and suicide attacks have intensified.

In other incidents:

  • At least seven people are killed and 13 injured in an attack on the busy commercial market in Baghdad's southern al-Dawra suburb;
  • Three die and 13 are injured when a car bomb explodes outside a police station in the capital's mainly Shia Kadhimiya district;
  • At least two men are shot dead in separate gun attacks in Baghdad;
  • Roadblocks are set up in Baghdad as police search for the sister of Interior Minister Bayan Jabr who was kidnapped on Tuesday;
  • At least two civilians are killed in Kirkuk as their car is hit by a roadside bomb intended for a US patrol.

The defence ministry said there have been 420 incidents in the last week which have killed or injured more than 200 people, the BBC's Alastair Leithead in Baghdad says.

The violence comes as Shia, Sunni and Kurdish politicians continue efforts to form a coalition governments in the wake of the elections.

Tombstones 'stained'

More than 100 mourners were attending the funeral of the bodyguard of a local leader of Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari's Islamic Dawa Party when attackers struck on Wednesday.

Map showing Miqdadiya

The man was killed when his motorcade was attacked by gunmen in an assassination attempt on Tuesday. The politician was himself badly wounded.

The explosion in Miqdadiya, 100km (60 miles) from Baghdad, left tombstones stained with blood and small body parts on the ground, police said.

Police Lt Salam Hussein told the Associated Press that the bombing had been a "terrorist act" aimed at igniting a Shia-Sunni civil war.

The people behind such attacks want to destabilise the country and shed more blood," he added.

Fuel crisis

Shortly after the funeral attack, a convoy of 60 fuel tankers was ambushed, with insurgents firing rocket-propelled grenades at the convoy, police said.

The attack comes as Iraq grapples with a fuel crisis stemming from the closure of a major refinery in the north that has prompted panic buying of fuel and long queues at petrol stations.

The refinery, in the northern town of Baiji, was closed 10 days ago following death threats to tanker drivers.

There have also been protests against the government's decision last month to drop petrol subsidies, raising prices threefold overnight.

Find out how significant the current attacks are


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