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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 January 2008, 16:48 GMT
Iraq suicide bomber hits funeral
A woman tends to a man wounded in the Baghdad funeral attack on 1 January
More than 30 people were injured in the funeral attack
A suicide bomber in Iraq has killed 30 people in an attack in the capital Baghdad, police reports say.

Thirty-two others were injured in the blast which struck mourners at the funeral for a Shia Muslim army officer.

Earlier on Tuesday, a number of Iraqi ministries released data suggesting that the number of civilian killed in Iraq was continuing to fall.

The December death toll was 480, down from almost 900 two months previously and about 2,000 in December 2006.

Tuesday's bomb went off at around 1630 (1330 GMT) in the Zaytouna neighbourhood, in the east of Baghdad.

Mourners had gathered for the funeral of a retired army officer, Nabil Hussein Jassim, who had himself been killed by a car bombing in central Baghdad on Friday.

'Surge effect'

US commanders attribute the reduced violence to their "surge" strategy which involved sending thousands more American troops to Iraq in 2007.

American military deaths also fell in December, dropping to 21 compared to more than 100 in December 2006.

Other likely factors behind the fall in deaths are the emergence of Sunni tribal groups opposed to al-Qaeda and the truce called by Shia militia leader Moqtada al-Sadr.

However, US military officials have warned that security improvements might not last unless Iraqi political leaders made progress with reconciliation.


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