Homicide Bombs Kill 5 in Iraq

A suicide bomber attacked the convoy of a city council chief in northern Iraq on Monday, killing the official and three guards, police and health officials said.

Violence in Iraq has dropped sharply, but insurgents still carry out attacks like the one in the city of Tal Afar with regularity.

The slain official, Hussein Akrash, was affiliated with the country's largest Sunni political party, the Iraqi Islamic Party, and was a member of the Turkoman minority. The insurgency, dominated by Sunni Arabs, has often targeted minority groups in addition to officials seen as collaborators with the Shiite-led government.

Akrash was driving in a nine-vehicle convoy when the attack occurred, said a police officer in Tal Afar and a doctor at a local hospital. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Akrash was heading to a funeral when the bomber attacked, said Yahya Abid Mahjoub, a member of the Ninevah Provincial Council who also belongs to the Iraqi Islamic Party.

Tal Afar is about 90 miles (150 kilometers) east of the Syrian border, in Ninevah province. Insurgents frequently staged bombings there in past years.

In Baghdad, a bomb attached to a car killed a police officer and wounded the driver and a passerby, police said.