A suicide bomber has killed 15 people leaving a mosque in Baghdad, with other blasts around Iraq claiming more lives. It is the latest violence likely linked to a standoff between Shiite and Sunni Muslims in Iraq.
The worst of Friday’s violence came in Baghdad’s Kiraiyat neighborhood at a Shiite mosque. A suicide bomber entered the mosque and set of an explosive device, killing 15 people and injuring 32.
Prior to the suicide bombing, a car bomb in the city of Samarra north of the capital claimed at least four more lives in an area frequented by Sunnis.
No claims of responsibly have been made for either attack, but Sunni militants linked to al Qaeda have been known to carry out attacks against Shiites. Protest organizers in Samarra pointed the finger at Shiite militants for the attack there.
Sunnis are in the minority in Iraq, which is led by a Shiite government.
There are concerns that the violence, which has been particularly bad in recent months, will not subside until elections scheduled for next year or could even develop into an all-out civil war.
Sunnis and Shiites are being dragged into opposite sides of the ongoing civil war in neighboring Syria, which is adding to tensions in the region.
mz/jr (Reuters, AFP, AP)