BAGHDAD, Iraq – Insurgents detonated a car bomb Tuesday outside a tent packed with hundreds of Iraqis mourning victims of an earlier attack, killing 14 people and wounding dozens.
The blast left a yard-wide crater in the ground, set five cars on fire and burned the tent in the central town of Khalis (search), the heart of Iraq's orange-growing region. Dismembered corpses lay on the floor. White plastic chairs where mourners had been sitting in orderly rows were broken and twisted.
The attack underscored insurgents' determination to carry out attacks more than a week after the United States transferred power to an interim government led by Prime Minister Iyad Allawi (search).
The bombing in Khalis, near the city of Baqouba (search), apparently targeted local officials attending the wake for a victim of an attack Sunday that targeted the council's chairman and killed his brother. Hundreds of mourners were drinking black coffee symbolizing grief when the car blew up within yards of the tent, said Maj. Gen. Walid Al-Azawi.
The governor of Diyala province, Abdullah al-Juburi, had just left the wake when the blast went off. Guerrillas have been targeting local officials and police throughout Iraq because they are seen as collaborators with Americans.
Violence has rocked Baqouba, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, in recent weeks. U.S. 1st Infantry Division soldiers hammered insurgents who tried to seize government buildings and police stations only days before the June 28 power handover.