A suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance to a school in the restive city of Baquba on Tuesday, wounding 21 people as the blast ripped through a crowd of teachers and pupils, police said.
"Four female teachers and 17 pupils were wounded, including five very young boys," said police Major Ahmed Al Karkhi.
The attacker targeted Al-Mutwra school in the middle of Baquba, 60 kilometres north of Baghdad, as pupils were arriving for morning classes, Karkhi said.
The attack was the fifth by a suicide bomber in Baquba this month and follows a similar assault on a funeral ceremony for a police colonel's relative on Monday near the north-central city of Baiji, which killed 17 mourners.
US military spokesman Rear Admiral Gregory Smith told a news conference on Sunday that 40 to 50 foreign fighters sneak into Iraq each month -- down from more than 100 a year ago -- mostly to carry out suicide bombings.
"Over 90 per cent of suicide bombers are foreign terrorists," he said.
US military intelligence experts told reporters in Baghdad that Al Qaeda and other insurgents are on the run and are increasingly forced to resort to suicide attacks because their ability to stage major bombings has been reduced. (AFP)
Suicide bomber attacks Iraqi school: police