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Suicide bomber targets Iraq funeral

At least 10 people have been killed in northern Iraq after a suicide bomber blew himself up at a funeral. The violence follows one of the deadliest months in Iraq this year.

The bombing happened on Sunday in Muqdadya, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) northeast of the capital Baghdad, during a funeral for the son of a prominent anti-al Qaeda Sunni tribal sheikh, killed a day earlier by unknown gunman. At least 25 people were injured and hospitalized (pictured above).

"As we were heading to the grave, a stranger ran towards the crowd and blew himself up," said Firas Ahmed, a relative who suffered a leg wound.

"I was lucky because I was not at the front. The bodies of the killed and wounded people were everywhere," Ahmed said.

Officials also said four more people were killed on Sunday in violence west of Baghdad.

The deaths come a day after the end of one of Iraq's deadliest months this year. More than 6,000 people have been killed across the country this year, making it one of the most violent since 2006-07, when Shiite and Sunni militiamen engaged in sectarian reprisal raids.

The violence - mainly in Baghdad and Sunni areas of northern and western Iraq - worsened in April after security forces stormed a Sunni protest camp.

Exact figures for November's death toll vary, with the UN saying it dropped by nearly a third from October to 659, while news agency AFP has reported 692.

While it was the second consecutive month that the overall death toll declined, UN envoy to Iraq Nickolay Mladenov said he was "profoundly disturbed" by a recent rise in "execution-style" killings.

Up to 200 people were killed last week alone, including 18 shot on Friday, just hours after they had been abducted by uniformed gunman.

jr/hc (Reuters, AFP, AP)