Mosque bomb blast kills at least 20 in Iraq

Mosque bomb blast kills at least 20 in Iraq
Fri Jul 19, 2013 16:15:43

A bomb blast has killed 20 people inside a crowded mosque north of Baghdad on Friday, police said, as Iraq struggles to contain its worst violence since 2008.

The bomber detonated explosives soon after entering the Abu Bakr al-Sadiq Mosque as the imam gave the Friday sermon in the town of Al-Wajihiyah, a police colonel said.

A doctor confirmed the toll from the blast which also wounded 40 people.

Areas near Baquba have been hit by several attacks over the past few days, including a bombing on Tuesday that targeted worshippers leaving a Sunni mosque in Muqdadiyah, northeast of the city, killing four people and wounding 15.

Militants have targeted both Sunni and Shiite mosques in recent months, raising fears of a return to all-out sectarian conflict that killed tens of thousands of people in past years.

A bombing targeting a Shiite religious hall in north Baghdad earlier this month killed at least 15 people.

The latest unrest brings the number of people killed in violence this month to 457, and upwards of 2,700 since the beginning of the year.

The death toll for the first 19 days of July alone has already surpassed the total for the entire month of June.

Most senior Iraqi politicians and religious leaders have remained silent about the current wave of violence.

They said al-Qaeda affiliated groups, under the instruction of some Western and Arab regimes, are planning to escalate sectarian rift in Iraq.

They said a coalition of former Baath party members and Wahabbis is the cause of these sectarian rifts.


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