Iraq suicide bomber kills 10


A suicide bomber killed at least 10 people and wounded 26 others at a government bank in the northern Iraqi town of Haditha today, police and hospital sources said.

The police source said people were collecting their salaries at a branch of the state-owned Rafidain bank in Haditha, 190km northwest of Baghdad, when the bomber struck.

"There was a group of Iraqi army soldiers standing in front of the bank to collect their salaries when a suicide bomber wearing a vest came in between them and blew himself up," police Lieut Ali al-Ubaidi, who was at the scene, told Reuters.

"The death toll is 10 killed, including eight soldiers, and 26 wounded, including 20 soldiers."

Eight years after the 2003 US-led invasion, insurgents are still capable of carrying out lethal attacks in Iraq, although overall violence has dropped from the height of sectarian warfare in 2006-7. A hospital source said he expected the death toll to rise.

"We received eight bodies and 13 wounded, including soldiers and civilians and we think the number of dead will increase because we have many critical cases among the wounded," Waleed al-Hadithi, manager of General Hospital in Haditha, said.

Haditha gained notoriety when US marines were accused of killing 24 Iraqi civilians in 2005. Witnesses said angry marines shot the men, women and children in November 2005 out of revenge after a popular comrade was killed in a roadside bombing.

News reports of the killings brought international condemnation of US forces in Iraq.