Suicide bomber kills dozens in town near Baghdad

File photo: An Iraq member of the Awakening Council stands guard close to the scene of a car bomb in the capital Baghdad on December 25, 2013.

Story highlights

  • Fifty-six people are wounded by the bombing, police say
  • Most of the victims of the attack are Awakening Council members
  • The councils are mainly consist of Sunni Arab fighters who turned against al Qaeda
A suicide bomber killed 38 people and wounded dozens more in a town near Baghdad on Wednesday, police said.
The attacker detonated explosives near Awakening Council members in al-Madaan, a town roughly 20 kilometers southeast of Baghdad, as they were collecting their monthly paychecks at the council's headquarters.
The Awakening Councils are predominantly made up of Sunni Arab fighters in Iraq who turned against al Qaeda in late 2006.
The U.S.-backed movement is credited as being one of the main factors that contributed to a drop in violence across Iraq.
But council members have become targets for jihadists, notably the Sunni extremist group ISIS, which has seized key areas of Iraqi territory this year.
The majority of the casualties in the al-Madaan attack were reported to be Awakening Council members.
Fifty-six people were wounded in the bombing, police said.