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Blast in Northern Iraq Kills 15 at Funeral Service


Police in northern Iraq say a suicide bomber detonated a blast at a funeral service, killing at least 15 people and wounding some ten others.

Authorities in the Sunni-majority village outside Tikrit say the bomber set off an explosive belt inside a tent full of mourners. At least one provincial government official was in attendance, but he survived.

Also Monday, the top United Nations envoy to Iraq told the U.N. Security Council that national reconciliation is crucial to sustaining recent security improvements in Iraq.

U.N. Special Representative Staffan de Mistura highlighted advancements toward reconciliation, such as parliament's decision to allow members of the Baath party to hold government positions.

On the security front, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Zalmay Khalilzad, noted that there has been a significant decline in sectarian attacks in Baghdad.

And, south of the capital, the U.S. military says it has carried out a third air assault on a suspected militant stronghold.

A military statement released Monday says bombers and fighter jets struck more than 30 targets in Arab Jabour on Sunday.

The U.S. military says that this month nearly 50 tons of bombs were dropped on the rural Sunni-majority area where al-Qaida in Iraq fighters are accused of storing weapons and planning attacks.

North of Baghdad, near Mosul, Iraqi police say a bomb in a parked car killed two people and wounded nine others.

Police in Qaiyara say they suspect the bomb planted in a parked car was targeting an Iraqi army patrol.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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