Iraq’s most deadly day since vote: 50 killed

About 50 Iraqis were killed Wednesday in clashes and bombings across the nation, including a suicide attack at a Shiite funeral in which about three dozen mourners died.It was the most violent day of insurgent attacks since the Dec. 15 elections for a new government.Sectarian tensions between Iraq's Shiite majority and Sunni Arab minority overlaid much of the day's bloodshed.In the deadliest incident, a suicide bomber blew himself up amid mourners attending the funeral of a young Shiite man killed in a Tuesday night assassination attempt on his uncle, a city councilman in Muqdadiyah about 60 miles northeast of Baghdad.

As many as 36 were killed and 43 were injured, security officials said. The politician, Ahmed al-Bakka, a physician at a local pediatric hospital and head of the local branch of the Dawa Party, did not attend the funeral.Insurgent attacks dropped off markedly around the time of the parliamentary elections, in which most Sunnis participated at the urging of Sunni leaders.But after preliminary results made clear that Sunnis fared poorly, the insurgency has picked back up against U.S. and Iraqi security forces, government officials and political figures.

In the capital Wednesday, gunmen assassinated Rahim Ali Sudani, a ranking official at the Oil Ministry, and his son as they drove through Ameriyah, a western Baghdad neighborhood known for its sympathy to insurgents.Meanwhile, traffic ground to a halt as police cordoned off and searched the central Baghdad neighborhood where the sister of Interior Minister Bayan Jabr was kidnapped the previous day.

As dusk settled, mortar fire and explosions continued to sound throughout the beleaguered capital, which has been hit by a gasoline shortage largely as a result of sabotage and truckers' refusal to travel the perilous roads between the country's main refinery in Beiji and the capital.On a highway 25 miles north of the Baghdad, gunmen attacked a convoy of tankers trying to bring gas to the capital. They fired rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns at the 60-truck convoy, which was escorted by Iraqi security forces. At least three trucks were destroyed and 15 damaged, said Lt. Ali Hussein of the Iraqi highway patrol.

Explosions rocked much of the capital Wednesday. A car bomb targeting a police station in the mostly Shiite northern district of Kadhimiya killed five, including three police officers, and injured 12 people. A remotely detonated car bomb in the Dora neighborhood killed at least three people.An hourlong gunfight erupted between insurgents and police commandos in the Ghazaliya neighborhood, leaving one dead and 17 injured. At least five other roadside bombs exploded throughout the city, causing at least five injuries and damage to surrounding vehicles.In the northern city of Kirkuk, a roadside bomb killed two and injured two on the city's main street, reports the AP. I.L.

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