BAGHDAD, Iraq, AP -A suicide bomber detonated an explosive belt Monday in a line of people waiting to receive government payments, killing six people and wounding about 30, including children, police said.
Eight other people were killed in attacks elsewhere, including five members of a Shiite religious party and three policemen.
The suicide attack occurred in a mostly Shiite eastern district of Baghdad as people lined up at a bank Monday morning to receive government checks to compensate for food rations which were incomplete in the last few months.
Police Lt. Ali Abbas said the attacker joined the line and blew himself up while security guards were searching people before allowing them to enter the bank. The wounded included three children and nine women, he said.
Elsewhere, gunmen killed three brothers and two of their sons in an attack on a street in Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, police said. All five were identified as members of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the country’s leading Shiite political party, police said.
A roadside bomb attack in Iskandariyah, 30 miles south of Baghdad, killed two policemen and wounded one, police said. Gunmen also shot dead a policeman protecting electricity generating facilities near a hospital in Baghdad’s Sadr City, police said.
Iraq’s former electricity minister, Ayham al-Samarie, escaped injury when a roadside bomb exploded near his three-vehicle convoy in Baghdad, said police Lt. Maitham Abdul-Razzaq. Two bodyguards were wounded.
The bomb targeted the convoy of al-Samarie, a dual Iraqi-U.S. citizen, as it passed through Baghdad’s western Mansour district, said Mohammed al-Jibouri, an official at the ex-minister’s office. The motive for the attack was not immediately clear.
Al-Samarie, a Sunni Arab political figure, was a member of the transitional government established after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq that toppled Saddam Hussein’s regime. Al-Samarie has said he maintains contacts with various Sunni Arab insurgents and has offered to mediate an end to the insurgency.
On Sunday, a U.S. logistics convoy was attacked by a roadside bomb north of Baghdad, killing one civilian believed to be a Pakistani truck driver and wounding three American soldiers, the military and Iraqi police said Monday.
The attack happened near Taji, about 12 miles north of Baghdad, where a major U.S. air base is located, said military spokesman Maj. Joseph Todd Breasseale. The three wounded soldiers were taken to a military hospital for treatment, he said.
Iraqi police Lt. Alaa Kamal said the convoy consisted of three fuel tankers and another truck, which was destroyed by fire. Police found the body of the vehicle’s driver inside the truck and identity documents said he was Pakistani.
Earlier Sunday, Shiite lawmakers chose Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari for another term, a move that was received with mixed reactions from potential coalition partners. Kurdish politicians expressed some disappointment, and Sunnis complained that al-Jaafari was unable to rein in Shiite-led government security forces accused of abuses against Sunnis.
Iraqi authorities are trying to form a national unity government comprising Shiites, Sunni Arabs and Kurds, which the United States hopes will curb the incessant violence that has plagued the country since Saddam’s 2003 ouster.
Meanwhile, the trial of Saddam Hussein resumed Monday, with the former leader shouting “Down with Bush” as he entered the courtroom and complaining that he was being forced to attend. He and his seven co-defendants have boycotted past sessions of the trial, refusing to work with court-appointed defense attorneys named after their own defense team walked out in protest.