BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A woman suicide bomber killed four people, including two policemen, and wounded 12 others on Wednesday in restive Diyala province north of Baghdad, police said.
The woman approached police guarding the premises of an organization that arranges religious pilgrimages in the town of Balad Ruz, about 70 km (45 miles) northeast of Baghdad, before blowing herself up, police said.
The bombing was the latest in a string of attacks carried out by women. Last month, two female suicide bombers killed 99 people at a crowded pet market, marking the deadliest day in the capital for almost a year.
On Monday, police initially said a woman suicide bomber killed 40 people in the holy Shi’ite city of Kerbala, south of Baghdad, although some police officials later said the bomb was remotely detonated.
The U.S. military says al Qaeda is recruiting more women as it casts its net wider in the face of growing hostility from Iraqis and greater military successes by U.S. and Iraqi forces. Women are less likely to be stopped and searched.
Even though attacks across Iraq have fallen by 60 percent since last June, religiously mixed Diyala remains a problem area for U.S. and Iraqi forces.
It is one of four provinces where they have launched offensives to root out al Qaeda militants, who have regrouped north of Baghdad after being ousted from former strongholds to the west and in and around the capital.
Writing by Mohammed Abbas; Editing by Michael Winfrey