Suicide Bomber Kills 55 in Iraqi Restaurant

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 11, 2008 9:55 AM CST
Women and a girl pass through the shells of cars burned by Kurdish protesters in the disputed city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq on Saturday, Aug. 9, 2008.    (AP Photo/Selcan Hacaoglu)
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(Newser) – A suicide bomber killed 55 people and wounded 120 in a crowded restaurant in northern Iraq today, as Kurdish officials were meeting there with Arab tribal leaders to discuss long-standing ethnic tensions, the AP reports. It appeared to be the deadliest attack in Iraq in nearly 6 months.The blast occurred in the Abdullah Restaurant just north of Kirkuk, the contested oil city.

A Kurdish official said Arab tribal leaders were having lunch with members of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, the party of President Jalal Talabani. They were to attend a meeting with Talabani after the lunch to discuss ways to defuse tensions among Arabs, Kurds, and Turkomen in the Kirkuk area.The restaurant was also packed with families celebrating the final day of the Eid al-Adha religious holiday. It is affiliated with another Kirkuk restaurant of the same name, which was attacked by a car bomb in 2007 that killed six and wounded 25.