Iraq suicide bomber deliberately kills members of his own family
He killed his pro-government brother and several members of his family.
A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-rigged belt at a gathering of his own family in western Iraq, killing his pro-government cousin and six other relatives, officials said Saturday.
The blast targeting a leader in the Sahwa militias in the city of Ramadi is a reminder of how extremism still divides Iraq's Sunni Muslim minority, with some working with al-Qaida-linked insurgents against others who support the Shiite-led government.
The killing is part of a surge in violence six months after the last American troops withdrew.
The bomber entered the home of his cousin, the local Sahwa leader, on Friday night as the extended family was gathered for a meal, said a police official in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, 115 kilometers (70 miles) west of Baghdad.
He approached the militiaman and detonated his explosives, killing his target as well as his wife, three of their teenage children, his brother and another relative, said the official. He could provide no other details including the number of wounded.
A hospital worker in Ramadi confirmed the deaths. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.
Anbar is the province where Sunni tribes first revolted against al-Qaida in late 2006 and 2007, joining U.S. troops to fight the insurgency.
The cousin was a prominent member of the Awakening Council that the US military set up to help them fight al-Qaeda.
Sectarian attacks have increased dramatically in June as a resurgent al-Qaeda is seeking to sow hate and confusion once again. But this was more of a targeted assassination of a political enemy rather than a sectarian murder. The fact that the bomber targeted his own family is shocking, but blood feuds are not uncommon in primitive cultures and we don't know what other motivation besides a political one there may have been.