A suicide bomber has driven his explosive-laden car into a bus packed with Iraqi national guardsmen, killing at least 23 of them.
US and Iraqi officials say the attack happened near the town of Balad, north of Baghdad. A US military spokesman (Major Neal O'Brien) says those behind the attack are trying to prevent democracy in Iraq. U.S. officials have warned that violence would increase ahead of Iraq's January 30th election. In a separate attack, the US military says insurgents killed four Iraqi policemen onSunday in Samarra. Meanwhile, U.S. military officials say thousands of Iraqi and U.S. troops have been deployed in the northern city of Mosul to bolster security ahead of the polls.