Iraq car bomb against Kurdish sect kills 8

AFP , Monday 16 Jan 2012

At least eight people killed and other wounded in a blast in the town of Bartala, northern Baghdad

A car bomb targeting an internally displaced persons camp for a tiny minority group near Iraq's main northern city of Mosul killed eightpeople and wounded four others on Monday, officials said.

The 8:00 am (0500 GMT) blast in the town of Bartala, in Nineveh province north of Baghdad, occurred inside the Al-Ghadir camp housing displaced members of the Shabak community, a sect of Kurdish origin, according to an army official and a medic at Mosul General Hospital. Both spoke on condition of anonymity.

The medic said women and children were among the fatalities, but did not give further details. He said some of the injured had been transferred to a hospital in the nearby Kurdish regional capital Arbil.

The Shabak community numbers about 30,000 people living in 35 villages in Nineveh, and many want to become part of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq.

They speak a distinct language and largely follow a faith that is a blend of Shiite Islam and local beliefs.

The community was persecuted under ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, and after the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq they were targeted on a number of occasions by Al-Qaeda.

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