A pair of bombs struck in quick succession outside a mosque north of Baghdad on Friday,
killing at least eight people and wounding more than 30.
The attacks in the town of Kanaan, about 75 kilometers (47 miles) northeast of the capital,
are likely to increase fears of further violence ahead of provincial elections in much of the
country scheduled for next week.
Friday’s blasts struck as worshippers were leaving after midday prayers from the town’s
Omar Bin Abdul-Aziz mosque, said police officials in Diyala province, where Kanaan is
A hospital official confirmed the casualty figures.
The nearby city of Baqouba was the site of a large bombing just last week. In that incident, a
suicide bomber blew himself up at a lunch hosted by a candidate in the upcoming provincial
elections, killing at least 20 people.
In a separate attack minutes after the Kanaan explosion, a bomb exploded near a mosque in
western Baghdad, wounding eight, according to police and hospital officials.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Friday’s attacks.
Al-Qaida’s Iraqi branch, known as the Islamic State of Iraq, frequently carries out coordinated
bombings targeting civilian targets such as mosques, markets and restaurants.
Iraq is to hold provincial elections on April 20, its first polls since 2010.
Attacks on candidates have left at least a dozen election hopefuls dead, according to an AFP
That, and the fact that only 12 of Iraq’s 18 provinces will vote due to a government
postponement has drawn the credibility of the elections into question.
Violence killed 271 Iraqis last month, the highest monthly figure since August, according to
an AFP tally.