From AFP, with thanks to Skeet Street.
A former Iraqi police commando blew himself up in a failed attempt to assassinate the leader of the anti-insurgent Wolf Brigade, killing three policemen, the Interior Minister, Bayan Jabr, said.
The bomber walked into the unit’s headquarters in Baghdad on Saturday and detonated a belt hidden under his police uniform.
A patriotic song broadcast regularly on Iraqi television says members of the brigade “disarm bombs with their teeth”.
Mr Jabr said the bomber was trying to kill the brigade’s leader, Major-General Mohammed Qureishi. General Qureishi, popularly known as Abu Walid, is well-known in Iraq as the host of a TV show on which accused insurgents confess their crimes.
He and the bulk of the Wolf Brigade are Shiite Muslims, and leaders of the country’s Sunni Muslim minority have accused the brigade of conducting kidnappings and summary executions during a continuing security crackdown known as Operation Lightning.
Mr Jabr echoed recent statements by Iraqi officials, calling Operation Lightning a huge success that had greatly reduced car bombings and other such attacks in and around Baghdad since it began a fortnight ago. During a surge of insurgent attacks last month a dozen or more bombs were exploding in Baghdad every day, Mr Jabr said, pointing to a diagram that tracked the trend. “Now we have one car bomb or two per day.”
Mr Jabr said 36 terrorism suspects had been killed in gunfights during the operation and 1318 arrested.