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Suicide Bombing in Iraqi Kurdistan Kills One, Injures Dozens

A rare suicide bombing in Iraqi Kurdistan has killed at least one person and injured 26, four of them seriously. The bombing came just hours after a suicide bomber killed five American troops in Baghdad and two other bombers killed at least six people north of Baghdad. Daniel Schearf reports for VOA from Irbil.

Kurdish media reports say a suicide car bomber detonated Monday night outside the gates of a luxury hotel in Sulaimaniya, a city in northeast Iraq.

The explosion killed the bomber and a guard at the Sulaimaniya Palace hotel.

Kurdish TV showed buildings with blown out windows and several cars outside the hotel ripped to shreds. Concrete walls meant to protect the hotel from just such an attack were blackened by the explosion.

Fuad Hussein is spokesman for the president of the Kurdistan regional government.

"I'm sure our security service will find those who are behind this attack and I hope that it will not be repeated," said Fuad Hussein.

Hussein says the timing of the attack appeared aimed at drawing attention during a meeting of Arab parliamentarians in Irbil, the capital of Iraq's Kurdish region.

The annual meeting of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union is to begin Tuesday and has been billed by Iraqi officials as a show of unity between Arabs and Kurds.

Massoud Barzani is the Kurdistan regional government's President:

Mr. Barzani says the decision to hold the conference in Irbil was a message with many meanings. He says the most important is that it proves the brotherhood between Kurds and Arabs and shows they choose to live together. He says the national unity of Iraq is stronger in the new federal and democratic Iraq.

Security for the conference has been tight since representatives from almost all Arab nations began arriving Sunday.

Iraq's Kurdish region is relatively peaceful and attacks here are rare. In 2005 a series of bombs in Iraqi Kurdistan killed at least 72 people and wounded over 100.

Also Monday, a suicide bomber killed five U.S. soldiers on foot patrol in central Baghdad. Three other soldiers and an interpreter were wounded in the attack. It was the worst attack on American soldiers in Baghdad in months.

Earlier Monday a female suicide bomber killed a distinguished Sunni leader in Diyala province. Sheik Thaeir Ghadhban al-Karkhi was leading local Sunnis who turned against al-Qaida to work with U.S. forces.

Police said the explosion also killed the man's young niece and two others.

A second suicide bomber in Diyala blew himself up at the gate of a police station, killing two people and wounding 20 others.