Iraq bicycle bomb kills five

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The Independent Online

A bomb attached to a bicycle killed five people in southern Iraq yesterday, and at least five others were killed in violence across the country, police said.

The bloodshed comes as Iraqi lawmakers intensify negotiations over a new election law that many hope will hasten the end of political gridlock over control of oil-rich Kirkuk — an old dispute between Arabs and Kurds that has threatened Iraq's fragile stability as US troops prepare to leave the country.

Maj. Muthana Khalid said a booby trapped bicycle exploded at a popular fruit and vegetable market Sunday near Hillah, the capital of Iraq's Babil province, 60 miles south of Baghdad.

Thirty-seven people were wounded in the attack, Khalid said.

In the western city of Ramadi, two people — including a policeman — were killed when twin car bombs exploded minutes apart in the visitors' parking lot of the city's Traffic Police Directorate.

Also yesterday, three people were killed when a bomb that was detonated remotely exploded on a bus as the vehicle approached a police checkpoint in the southern holy city of Karbala, 50 miles south of Baghdad.