Suicide bomber kills 23 at Iraqi conference

January 3rd, 2009 - 12:05 am ICT by IANS  

Baghdad, Jan 2 (DPA) A suicide bomber blew himself up at a national reconciliation conference in Iraq Friday, killing at least 23 people and wounding 42 south of Baghdad, security sources said.The bomber was a wanted man, identified as Mohamed al-Karghuli. He smuggled himself into the conference at a sheikh’s house in al-Yussifiyah, General Qassem Attah told the Voices of Iraq (VOI) news agency.

In Hillah, unknown gunmen killed two tribal policemen and injured another four in an attack on a check point, the news agency added.

Tribal police also known as Awakening Councils are composed of Sunni tribe members collaborating with US forces to fight Al Qaeda terrorist network in Iraq.

Meanwhile, a senior Iraqi Shia cleric warned candidates in the country’s upcoming election from trying to buy votes, calling it sinful.

Sheikh Abdel Mahdi al-Karbalai gave his speech in front of worshippers during the Muslim Friday prayer in Karbala.

“Buying votes with money and other resources is a sin. Voters should not give their voice to a candidate who tried to bribe them,” said al-Karbalai.

Some candidates have distributed food, clothes and blankets to poor voters in exchange for their political support, he added.

Iraq’s provincial elections, the first to be held without US supervision are a milestone in the country’s sovereignty. The elections in 14 out of Iraq’s 18 provinces are to be held Jan 31.

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