Thankfully, no one but the bomber was killed, but there were many wounded.
BAGHDAD – A female suicide bomber targeted a crowd of soccer fans celebrating Iraq’s win in a World Cup qualifier on Saturday, wounding at least 34 people near a cafe north of Baghdad, police said.
The young woman, who was covered in a traditional black Islamic robe, was dropped off by a car shortly before the attack as dozens of cheering young men poured out onto the streets after watching Iraq beat China 2-1 on television in the cafe in the town of Qara Tappah.
The woman told suspicious police that she was waiting for her husband but blew herself up after an officer spotted the detonator and began screaming at the crowd to disperse, according to the town’s top administrator, Serwan Shukir.
Seven police and 27 civilians were among the wounded, Shukir said, but the officer’s warning had averted a higher casualty toll by preventing the woman from reaching the bulk of the fans.
Police Capt. Najib Khourshid said she was about 20 yards away from the crowd when the blast occurred.
“About 100 people were in the cafe and we went out to celebrate the victory after the match. Minutes later, a big explosion took place near us,” said Salman Hameed, who was wounded in his chest and right hand. “The female bomber has spoiled our joy and celebration.”
Hameed, a Sunni Arab, said five of his Kurdish and Turkomen friends also were wounded in the attack.
Qara Tappah is a mainly Kurdish and Shiite Turkomen city, about 75 miles northeast of Baghdad in the volatile Diyala province. The attack followed warnings by U.S. officials that al-Qaida in Iraq is increasing efforts to recruit women as suicide attackers in a bid to subvert stepped up security measures, particularly in Diyala.
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