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Last Updated: Monday, 21 January 2008, 20:44 GMT
Bomber strikes at Iraqi funeral
A suicide bomber has attacked mourners at a funeral ceremony in northern Iraq, killing at least 15 of them and wounding a similar number, police say.

The bomber walked into a tent where residents were mourning the relative of a provincial security chief near the city of Baiji, an official said.

Northern Iraq has been the scene of a number of recent bomb attacks.

The US military says al-Qaeda has regrouped there after being forced out of Baghdad and other regions.

'Chaos everywhere'

The attack took place in the village of Hajaj, where dozens of mourners had gathered to pay their respects.

Among them was Col Ahmed Abdallah al-Juburi, the deputy chief of security in Salahuddin province and a relative of the deceased.

He was understood to have survived, but a number of his relatives were among the dead.

The funeral tent was also full of government officials and anti-al-Qaeda tribesmen.

"I heard a big explosion and I ran away out of fear. I came back to the tent after hearing the voices of wounded begging for help," Awad Jassim, a 25-year-old who had been making coffee over an open fire told the Associated Press news agency.

"The tent fell down and there was chaos everywhere, but we managed to carry out the dead and the wounded."

Hajaj is reportedly a mainly Sunni settlement.

There have been numerous recent attacks on Sunni groups - so-called "awakening councils" - who have sided with the Iraqi government against al-Qaeda insurgents.

There has been no claim of responsibility for this latest attack, however.

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