MOSUL, May 1: A suicide car bomb ripped through a Kurdish funeral in northern Iraq on Sunday, killing 25 people and wounding 30, as a new hostage crisis erupted with an Australian pleading for his life in a new videotape.

Another 14 Iraqis were killed in relentless violence around the country, but officials announced they had found new evidence on the mysterious disappearance of British aid worker Margaret Hassan with the arrest of several suspects.

The bomber ploughed his vehicle into mourners gathered for the funeral of a Kurdish official in the northern Iarqi city of Tall Afar at around 6pm (1400 GMT), a source at the Kurdistan Democratic Party told AFP.

“Twenty-five people were killed and more than 30 wounded in the attack,” said Khusru Kuran, who is also deputy governor of the northern Nineveh province.

The mourners were gathered in Tall Afar for the funeral of Taleb Sayed Wahba, also a KDP official, who was gunned down by militants in the nearby city of Mosul on Saturday.

Clashes then broke out when gunmen emerged on the scene of the bombing and prevented ambulances from evacuating the victims before being confronted by army and police forces, Mr Khusru added.

A videotape broadcast by Britain’s Sky News television indicated an Australian citizen by the name of Douglas Wood may have been kidnapped in Iraq.

The tape shows an ashen-faced man in his 60s who demands the withdrawal of coalition forces from Iraq, and says he fears for his life. No official source could confirm that an Australian was missing. In Canberra, Australian officials were working to determine the identity of the man pleading for his life on the tape.

Meanwhile, five Iraqi police were killed when a group of around 30 insurgents stormed a checkpoint on the southern edge of the capital, taking them by surprise, an interior ministry official said.

Militants loyal to Al Qaeda’s Iraq frontman Abu Musab al-Zarqawi said they carried out the attack, in a statement posted on the Internet. Five Iraqi civilians — including a young girl — were also killed and 12 wounded in southeast Baghdad when a car bomb exploded as a US military convoy drove by, the official said.

In a second Baghdad car bomb targeting a US military convoy, a child was killed and 10 civilians wounded. A Baghdad municipal official in charge of the sewage system was also gunned down in his car, while two men working for an Iraqi construction company were also shot dead in Baghdad.—AFP

Opinion

Story of the last tamarind leaf
Updated 22 Jun 2021

Story of the last tamarind leaf

These journalists speak for all the troubled features of India’s democracy that Mr Modi didn’t tell the G7 about.
Understanding abuse
Updated 22 Jun 2021

Understanding abuse

Condemnations have been rare while there is no debate on the prevalence of such abuse beyond the Mufti Azizur Rehman case.
The roots of hate
Updated 21 Jun 2021

The roots of hate

The reference to being ‘out-populated’ is a popular theme in modern neo-Nazi and white supremacist thought.

Editorial

Describing OBL
22 Jun 2021

Describing OBL

FM Qureshi’s non-committal reply to question about Osama being a terrorist or a martyr has sent the wrong message to the world.
22 Jun 2021

A neglected sector

THE PTI legislators joined forces with opposition lawmakers in the National Assembly the other day to take their own...
22 Jun 2021

Air safari

THE resumption of PIA’s air safari flights to Skardu will hopefully attract international and domestic tourists,...
Poll consensus
Updated 21 Jun 2021

Poll consensus

If the govt is reluctant to take part in an APC on poll reforms, then it must ensure that parliament can be used for this purpose.
21 Jun 2021

Global displacement

THE number of globally displaced persons shared by the UN’s refugee agency in a report released on Friday is...
21 Jun 2021

KP budget

THE KP budget 2021-22 is a sort of please-all document that hands out something to almost everyone in the hope of...