Female suicide bomber hits Iraqi governor’s home

In a brazen suicide bombing
Sunday, a female bomber killed at least five people and wounded 37 others in
the once restive Sunni province of Anbar.

The attack comes as Vice
President Joe Biden marked the 4 July holiday with the troops at a US base
before planning to meet with two Shiite politicians vying for Iraq’s top government
job. Iraqi officials hope that Biden’s visit will push forward slow-moving
negotiations to form the government nearly four months after the national
election.  Both secular Shiite Ayad
Allawi and Shiite incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, whose political
bloc lost by a slim lead to Allawi’s bloc, are battling for the seat of prime
minister.

In Ramadi, a woman slipped
through four checkpoints at the governor’s compound with an explosive vest
strapped to her chest.

At the front desk she told
employees she was there to collect compensation for her son who was killed by
insurgents, said police spokesman Maj. Firas al-Dulaimy.

In the hallway near the
governor’s office, she detonated her vest and killed and wounded scores of
civilians and some guards. The governor Qassim Mohammed Abid and his two
deputies were unharmed.

Last year, Abid lost his hand in
a bombing that killed at least 24 people. Officials quickly blamed al-Qaeda in
Iraq for the attack.

Some local officials were
angered by the ease with which the woman slipped into the governor’s compound.
They called the attack a failure of Iraq’s security force. The woman was never
searched.

“It doesn’t make any sense,”
said Mizher Hassan, a provincial council member. “It is almost a year now since
the Iraqi Security Forces took over security and they cannot protect one
government building?”

Earlier this week, a prominent
cleric in Anbar was assassinated. Assassinations of security forces and
prominent leaders seem to be on the rise in the country as Iraqis wait for a
government to be formed.

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