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Iraq police chief says suicide bomber kills prominent pro-government Sunni sheik in west

BAGHDAD - Iraqi police say a suicide bomber in western Iraq has killed a prominent pro-government tribal sheik as well as six of his militiamen.

Police chief of the town of Haditha, Col. Farouq al-Jughaifi, said Friday that the bomber rammed his explosives-laden car late Thursday into the guesthouse of Sheik Saeed Fleih al-Osman — a councilman and a leader for the town's anti-al-Qaida Sunni tribal militias.

Al-Jughaifi added that five civilians were also wounded.

Haditha is located about 220 kilometres (140 miles) northwest of Baghdad in the largely Sunni province of Anbar.

The Awakening Councils, or Sahwa, were first formed and financed by the U.S. troops to help fighting extremist militant groups. They are the favourite targets for the insurgent groups who see them as traitors.

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