Kurds mourn as attacks continue

Thousands of mourners in northern Iraq have been paying last respects to the victims of Sunday's twin bombings, as attacks against US-led occupation forces and their allies claimed more lives.

    Toll in near-simultaneous blasts in Arbil continues to rise

    Grief and fear were evident across the Kurdish city of Arbil on Tuesday, as the funeral corteges for senior political leaders moved silently past shuttered shops and deserted side streets.

    Sunday's bombings killed 101 and wounded more than 130. The targets were the offices of the rival Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).

    Both offices had been packed at the time of the explosions, as the bombers took advantage of lax security during celebrations for the Muslim holidays of Eid al-Adha, to mingle with guests and approach party leaders.

    Kurdish women mourn during
    the funerals of PUK members

    "These attacks will never stop us from keeping our Kurdistan and we will keep our rights alongside our Arab brothers to build a new Iraq," a cleric overseeing the burial told mourners.

    Once pitted against each other in a bloody power struggle, the PUK and KDP who jointly control three northern Iraqi provinces, have vowed to work together to pursue their vision for virtual autonomy under a new federal Iraq.

    Resistance strikes

    Meanwhile, a US soldier was killed and another wounded by a roadside bomb south of Baghdad on Tuesday, the US military said.

    The soldier was reportedly killed at about 10:30am (0730 GMT) close to Iskandariya, about 50km south of the capital.

    The death brings to 367 the number of US soldiers killed in combat in Iraq since the start of the US-led war on Iraq.

    Earlier, in the central city of Karbala, three Iraqi police officers were killed in a shooting, said police sources. The assailants' car blew up because bullets hit the petrol tank, said the police.

    Late last month, interim Interior Minister Nuri Badran said more than 300 policemen had been killed since Hussein's government collapsed in April.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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