BAGHDAD (AFP) – A suicide bomber killed 23 people and wounded at least 42 on Friday at a tribal meeting near the Iraqi capital, Baghdad security plan spokesman General Qassem Atta told AFP.
The bomber detonated his explosives vest at a lunch meeting of Sunni Arab sheikhs in al-Yusufiyah, a small town south of Baghdad, Atta said.
“Twenty-three people were killed and at least 42 injured,” Atta said. “The suicide bomber was a member of the tribe who was close to the leading local sheikh.
“He entered the meeting through a back door.”
A defence ministry source said the attack took place at about 2pm (1100 GMT).
The US military has recruited Iraq’s powerful tribes to the fight against Al-Qaeda in recent years, particularly in Sunni Arab areas, making them a repeated target for attack by the jihadists.
The bombing came one day after the United States handed over security control of the Green Zone in Baghdad and other military facilities to Iraq as a UN mandate for foreign troops expired.