Five US soldiers killed in Iraq

The attacks come amid fears of a change in tactics by al-Qaeda in Iraq.

    Iraqis load the coffin of the killed doctor on top of a car ahead of his funeral in Basra [AFP]

    A police official at Baghdad's Yarmouk hospital said nine wounded Iraqis had been admitted, including a policeman.


    Other attacks


    A suicide car bomber blew himself up outside a hotel in Iraq's northern Sulaimaniya province, wounding up to 30 people.


    The Kurdish region has been considered one of the most stable parts of the country in recent times.


    The explosion happened in front of the Sulaimaniya Palace Hotel in the provincial capital, Sulaimaniya City, which is the biggest in the region and a frequent meeting place for officials.


    Another suicide bomb attack in Baghdad targeted a group of private security contractors leaving at least 11 people wounded, security officials and medics said.


    It was not immediately clear if the private security company was a local or a foreign firm, or if there were any foreigners among the casualties.


    An official at Baghdad's Yarmukh hospital said 11 people were admitted following the attack, which also took place in Mansour district.


    Iraqi interior and defence ministry officials confirmed the 3:15 pm (12:15 GMT) attack.


    Tribal chief


    Earlier on Monday, a prominent Sunni tribal chief, who had led an Awakening Council group, was killed by a female bomber at the gate of his home in the Diyala province of Iraq.


    Sheikh Thaer Ghadhban died at his house in Kanaan, north of Baquba, along with his nephew, a niece and two other people.


    The woman who carried out the bombing had an appointment to meet the sheikh and came wearing a vest packed with explosives worn under her clothes, police said.


    Two bodyguards were also wounded.


    Brigadier-General Rageb al-Omeri said: "The bomber blew herself up as the sheikh came out of the house to meet her."


    The US forces have been working with the Awakening Councils, units of armed Sunni residents who patrol their neighbourhoods.

    In southern Iraq, the body of a doctor who was kidnapped on Sunday was found.


    Dr Khalid Nasir al-Miyahi, a neurologist working at a hospital in Basra, was kidnapped by unidentified gunmen, police said.


    His body was found in a central area of the city.


    US concerns


    The attack comes as a senior US commander warned that al-Qaeda may be shifting its tactics back towards big, headline-grabbing attacks.


    "We have some indicators that they may be planning on executing kind of a large media-type event," said Major-General John Kelly, the commander of the Marine Expeditionary Force in western Iraq.


    The US claim al-Qaeda's tactics were aimed at destabilising the country and inflaming sectarian tensions.


    Kelly said it was unclear from the intelligence where al-Qaeda might try to stage the attacks, but he indicated the threat was aimed as al-Anbar province, their former stronghold.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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