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Witnesses: Abu Ghraib bomber was a teenage boy

  • Story Highlights
  • Falluja police official: Witnesses say attacker was about 13 or 14 years old
  • U.S. military: Bomber was "old enough to carry out this horrible attack"
  • Attack hit mourners gathering for the principal of a technical school
  • Among those killed in the attack was the principal's 3-year-old son
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Police are investigating witness accounts that the suicide bomber who struck the Iraqi town of Abu Ghraib on Wednesday was a teenage boy, a local police official told CNN.

The source -- a Falluja police official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he isn't authorized to speak to the media -- said Thursday that witnesses say the attacker was about 13 or 14 years old, "wearing jeans, modern clothing and had a youngster's hair style."

The U.S. military said it does not have a "forensic review" that would reveal the attacker's age, but "he was certainly older than a child and old enough to carry out this horrible attack."

The attack struck a group of mourners gathering to remember a man killed earlier in the week. At least 25 were killed and 30 were wounded in the bombing, the official said. An Interior Ministry official gave slightly different casualty numbers, 22 deaths and 45 injuries.

Abu Ghraib is a predominantly Sunni area about 20 miles west of Baghdad and near the Anbar province. Police in the nearby Anbar city of Falluja said the gathering of mourners was for the principal of a technical school in the village of Abu Minasir in Abu Ghraib, who was shot dead Monday.

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The principal's cousin is a senior police officer in Falluja, and his brother is a leading member of the Sons of Iraq or Awakening, a movement of anti-al Qaeda in Iraq Sunni groups in the area.

Police and Awakening members have been a target for al Qaeda in Iraq. Among those killed in the attack was the principal's 3-year-old son, the ministry official said.

Other developments:

  • A roadside bomb struck the security detail of Baghdad's governor Thursday, killing one person and wounding six others, an Interior Ministry official said. Gov. Hussain Tahhan was not traveling with the convoy in central Baghdad when the bombing occurred. The one person killed and four others wounded were members of the security detail. Two civilian bystanders were injured.
  • Another bombing killed an Iraqi soldier and wounded four others when a roadside bomb struck an Army patrol in western Baghdad on Thursday.
  • Coalition troops targeting al Qaeda in Iraq killed "two terrorists and detained three suspects" on Thursday in a raid just west of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.
  • CNN's Jomana Karadsheh and Ben Blake contributed to this report.

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