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Suicide bomber targets Iraqi minority funeral near Turkish border

A suicide bomber has killed at least 11 people at the funeral of a member of Iraq's Shabak minority in the northern province of Ninevah, security sources say. The Shabak people are often targeted in militant attacks.

Iraqi officials say a suicide bomber has attacked a funeral for members of an ethnic minority in the country, killing at least 11 people. The attack took place in a town some 15 miles (25 km) east of Mosul, Ninevah's capital.

Police say a suicide bomber set off an explosive belt inside a funeral, held by members of the Shabak minority near the northern city of Mosul on Saturday afternoon. Authorities said that at least 13 more people were wounded in the attack.

Mourners were paying respects to a member of the Shabak minority, who had died of natural causes.

The Shabaks are ethnic Turkomen and Shiite Muslims. The 30,000-strong Shabak community mostly lives in villages east of Mosul, the provincial capital of the ethnically mixed Ninevah province that is predominantly Sunni Muslim.

They speak a distinct language and largely follow a faith that is a blend of Shiite Islam and local beliefs.

The attack came amid a surge in nationwide violence that has left more than 4,000 people dead so far this year and sparked concerns Iraq is slipping back into the all-out sectarian war that plagued it in 2006 and 2007.

ch/slk (Reuters, AP, AFP)