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Iraq intelligence officer dies in suicide bombing
A suicide bomber killed a senior Iraqi army intelligence officer and two bodyguards in a northern town on Saturday after storming his well-guarded home.
One bomber was shot outside the home of Brigadier-General Aouni Ali, the director of the Defense Ministry's intelligence school, in the northern town of Tal Afar. But a second attacker managed to detonate his explosives.
"Guards killed one suicide bomber, but when the brigadier general and his bodyguards went out another bomber ran among them and blew himself up," a local official said.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Tal Afar is near the Syrian border, about 420 km north of Baghdad and just west of the volatile northern city of Mosul.
More than 10 suicide attackers have struck Iraq since January. Last year, more than 4,400 people were killed, the first annual climb in Iraq's death toll in three years.
Violence is far from the bloodletting that killed tens of thousands in 2006-2007. But after the US occupation ended in December 2011, insurgents have carried out at least one big attack a month.
Increasing sectarian violence has accompanied growing political unrest in Iraq as thousands of Sunni Muslims in western provinces rally against Shia Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, accusing him of marginalizing their minority sect.
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