Iraqi police: Female suicide bomber kills 11, injures 19 in Baqouba

BAGHDAD (AP) -- Iraqi officials say it was a female suicide bomber who struck in Baqouba Wednesday.

The late morning attack in front of a courthouse in the center of the city killed at least 11 people and wounded 19 others.

A local official says the attack apparently was intended to be a double suicide bombing, but a man accompanying the woman failed to detonate his explosives vest. He was arrested at the scene.

Witnesses inside the courthouse describe "a thunderous explosion followed by people's cries." A lawyer says he rushed outside, but could see nothing but smoke. He says it looked the intended target may have been Iraqi army Humvees parked nearby.

Baqouba is the capital of Diyala (dee-YAH'-lah) province. The city and surrounding areas have been struck by several female bombers in recent months despite U.S. efforts to recruit and train more women for the Iraqi security forces. The billowing robes many women wear easily hide explosives and they are less likely to be searched.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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