Suicide bomber attacks Iraqi police station

June 26, 2011 - 6:30 AM

BAGHDAD (AP) — A suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance to a police station north of the capital on Sunday, killing three people and wounding 18 others, authorities and health officials said.

Two police officers were killed and 10 others were wounded in the attack in Tarmiyah, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Baghdad, two police officer and one medical official said. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information.

Meanwhile, an Iraqi court has sentenced the wife of a slain al-Qaida leader to 20 years in prison on terrorism-related charges, an Iraqi judicial spokesman said.

Hasna Ali Yahya, the Yemeni wife of Abu Ayyub al-Masri, was convicted last Thursday, according to Iraqi Supreme Judicial Council spokesman Abdul-Sattar Bayrkdar.

Bayrkdar didn't give details on the charges, but a government official said she was convicted of facilitating correspondence between insurgents and preparing explosive-laden belts. The official spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to release information.

Al-Masri's wife, a mother of three has been in custody since the April 2010 joint U.S.-Iraqi north of Baghdad that killed al-Masri along with another prominent al-Qaida in Iraq militant.

Six months later, Iraq's al-Qaida umbrella group, the Islamic State of Iraq threatened to kidnap family members of Iraqi politicians and ministers if al-Masri's wife and children were not released.

Last month, the two daughters and son were handed over to their uncle in Yemen, according to a Yemeni diplomat in Baghdad. The youngest child is 18 months old, while the others are 9 and 7, the diplomat said. He spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to release information.

Al-Masri, an Egyptian, joined al-Qaida camps in Afghanistan in the late 1990s and trained as a car bomb expert before traveling to Iraq after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, U.S. officials have said.

He led the terror organization after Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian-born founder of al-Qaida in Iraq, was killed in June 2006. The group launched a bombing campaign shortly afterward to show that al-Qaida was far from eliminated.

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Associated Press Writer Saad Abdul-Kadir contributed to this report.