Funeral procession bombed in Iraq By STEVEN R. HURST, Associated Press Writer
7 minutes ago
BAGHDAD - A bomb hidden in a parked car struck the funeral procession of a Sunni tribal leader who was gunned down earlier Thursday, killing at least 26 mourners as al-Qaida appeared to turn up its campaign of frightening its growing opposition into submission.
The attack in Fallujah, 40 miles west of Baghdad, targeted the passing procession for Alaa Zuwaid, a 60-year-old restaurant owner who was part of a Sunni tribe that had formed an alliance with other tribal leaders against al-Qaida. Police and medical officials said 45 other people were wounded in the bombing.
Zuwaid was killed that morning when militants shot him in front of his house, police said — nearly a month after his 25-year-old son was slain as he walked down the street.
In all, 87 people were killed or found dead in sectarian violence across
Iraq on Thursday.
President Bush told a news conference he supported a $120 billion Iraq war spending bill that was on track to pass Congress, ending weeks of wrangling with congressional Democrats on how long U.S. troops should stay.
The bill funds the war through September as Bush wanted and does not set a date for troop withdrawals. In exchange for dropping restrictions on the military, Bush agreed to some $17 billion in spending added by Democrats to fund domestic and military-related projects.
"By voting for this bill, members of both parties can show our troops and the Iraqis and the enemy that our country will support our service men and women in harm's way," Bush said.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, meanwhile, asked Parliament to approve six new Cabinet ministers, all independents, to replace a group loyal to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr that resigned on his orders last month.
There was no quorum and a vote on the nominees was put off until Sunday.
Al-Sadr, who went into hiding in
Iran at the start of the Baghdad security crackdown, ordered his ministers to quit the government over al-Maliki's refusal to call for a timetable for U.S. withdrawal.
Thousands of U.S. and Iraqi troops pressed their search through the fields of southern Iraq in scorching temperatures, and the military said it would not call off the hunt for two missing U.S. soldiers.
The body of a third soldier — 20-year-old Pfc. Joseph Anzack Jr., missing since a May 12 ambush claimed by al-Qaida — was pulled from the Euphrates River and identified Wednesday.
Members of Anzack's platoon choked back tears at news of his death and said they would not stop looking for the two others.
"We can't leave them behind. I just hope that they have enough faith to keep them going. What they're going through right now, I can't imagine," said Pfc. Sammy Rhodes, 25, of Albuquerque, N.M.
The U.S. military also announced Thursday that two U.S. soldiers were killed the day before while conducting combat operations in Iraq's volatile Anbar Province. Those deaths raised the American death toll for the month to at least 82. Last month, 104 U.S. troops were killed in Iraq.
In other violence, gunmen attacked a small bus in a predominantly Shiite region on the northern outskirts of Baghdad, killing 11 passengers. Then the gunmen planted a bomb on the bus, which they exploded when police arrived. Four policemen were wounded.
A suicide bomber detonated a bomb aboard another small bus driving through Baghdad, killing three civilians and wounding eight, police said.
In Sulaiman Bek, 75 miles south of the northern city of Kirkuk, a roadside bomb an Iraqi police convoy killed six police officers Thursday morning, Iraqi police said.
This one is for all of those who call Al-Qaeda "freedom fighters" and defenders of the Iraqis