A suicide bomber slammed his truck into a densely populated residential area in the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar on Monday, killing at least 28 people, including 19 children, local authorities said.In other Iraq news more Sunni lawmakers have left the governement.
The attack occurred in a crowded Shiite neighborhood of the religiously mixed city, about 250 miles northwest of Baghdad.
The powerful blast caused houses to collapse in the morning as many families were getting ready for the day, and officials said the death toll could rise.
In Baghdad, lawmakers said that five Cabinet ministers loyal to Iraq's first post-Saddam leader will boycott government meetings, further deepening the political crisis that threatens to swamp the administration of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.Without political reconciliation nothing will change in Iraq. The carnage goes on unabated even though the surge is now fully in place. Iraq is like playing a game of whack a mole. You secure one spot and they just move somewhere else. How many of our soldiers and innocent Iraqis will die as a result of the incompetence of this administration?
The boycott of the Iraqiya List ministers loyal to former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi leaves the government, at least temporarily, with no Sunni participants. It was a deep blow to al-Maliki's attempts to reconcile the country's majority Shiites and minority Sunnis and Kurds.
Iraqiya List lawmaker Iyad Jamal-Aldin said the Allawi bloc decided to boycott because al-Maliki has failed to respond to demands for political reform issued five months ago. He said the boycott was not tied to the decision last week by the top Sunni political bloc to pull its six ministers out of the 40-member Cabinet.