Suicide Attacker Kills 7 at Baghdad Checkpoint

A suicide bomber set off a car bomb Monday
at a checkpoint leading to the Iraqi Interior Ministry, killing seven
people and injuring 32 others, officials said.


The attack followed a
series of bombings last week that killed up to 70 people in a single
day, increasing fears about Iraq’s future after U.S. troops withdrew
this month.

Two police officers said the
bomber struck during morning rush hour, hitting one of many security
barriers set up around the ministry’s building. Five policemen were
among the dead, they said.

Two doctors at
nearby hospitals confirmed the causality figures. All spoke on condition
of anonymity because they were not authorized to release information.

No one has claimed responsibility, but suicide attacks are the hallmark of the al-Qaida in Iraq terror group.

U.S.
and some Iraqi officials have warned of a resurgence of Sunni and
Shiite militants and an increase in violence after the full U.S. troop
withdrawal.

Adding to Iraq’s troubles is an
increase in political tension stemming from a showdown between the
Shiite prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, and the top Sunni political
leader in the country.

Al-Maliki’s government
has issued an arrest warrant for Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi
on charges that he ran hit squads against government officials.

Al-Hashemi has denied the charges and said they are politically motivated.

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