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Suicide Bomber Kills 5 in Northern Iraq


A suicide bomber blew himself up in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk Saturday, killing at least five people and wounding at least eight others.

Local police say among those killed at a car dealership in the southern part of the city was a senior member of a U.S.-allied Sunni group from Diyala province.

Earlier Saturday, unknown gunmen killed an adviser to Iraq's culture minister in a drive-by shooting in Baghdad. Authorities say Kamel Shiya was driving on a highway when the gunmen opened fire, killing him and wounding his bodyguard.

Also Saturday, an Iraqi court sentenced to death former Sunni Culture Minister Assad Kamal al-Hashimi for his role in an assassination attempt against a fellow Sunni politician in 2005. Two sons of the targeted politician, Mithal al-Alusi, were killed in the attack.

Hashimi, believed to be in hiding since last year, was tried and sentenced in absentia.

In other developments, Iraqi authorities say unidentified gunmen abducted eight Iraqis from their homes in Diyala province Friday night.

Iraqi and U.S. forces recently began an offensive in Diyala to crack down on militants based in the province, located northeast of Baghdad.

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

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