TARMIYAH, Iraq (AFP) — A suicide bomber killed eight members of an anti-Qaeda front as he triggered his explosive vest at a checkpoint outside a Sunni tribal sheikh's house in central Iraq on Tuesday, police said.
The attack took place outside the home of Sheikh Shathr al-Obeidi, head of a tribal "Awakening" group ranged against Al-Qaeda in Awad village near Taji, 40 kilometres (25 miles) north of Baghdad in Salaheddin province, a police officer said.
"Eight members of the Awakening were killed at the checkpoint. Several were wounded," the officer told AFP on condition of anonymity.
"The target of the attack was Sheikh Shathr al-Obeidi."
Awakening groups, made up mainly of Sunni former insurgents, have been battling Al-Qaeda in Iraq with the support of the US military for more than a year and have been the target of attack by various insurgent groups.
Tuesday's attack follows a spate of suicide bombings in Iraq this year that have killed more than 200 people and injured scores, mostly in Diyala province which is now considered Iraq's most dangerous region, as well as in Salaheddin.
US commanders say that Al-Qaeda and other insurgents are on the run and are increasingly forced to resort to suicide attacks because their ability to stage major bombings has been reduced.
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