Monday 19 August 2019

10 killed by bombings at Baghdad mosque

A roadside bomb and a suicide blast hit the mosque in Baghdad
A roadside bomb and a suicide blast hit the mosque in Baghdad

A suicide blast and a roadside bomb have targeted a Shiite mosque in southern Baghdad, killing 10 people, security officials said.

Police said the attack happened in the Nahiyet al-Rasheed neighbourhood, where a roadside bomb went off first on the street outside the mosque, just as worshippers were finishing Friday prayers.

Within minutes, a suicide bomber inside the mosque detonated an explosives vest.

The officials said 28 people were wounded in the attack. Two police officers are among the dead and four have been wounded.

Baghdad sees near daily attacks, many claimed by the Sunni militant Islamic State group.

Two more roadside bombs exploded in commercial areas of south-east Baghdad, killing five people and wounding nine, security officials said.

Hospital officials confirmed the casualties.

In the Shiite holy city of Karbala, the representative of Iraq's most influential Shiite cleric called for unity in the fight against IS and condemned recent attacks abroad claimed by the group.

"The attacks that captured the world's attention including the Russian aircraft bombing and the bombings in Beirut and Paris claimed the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians," said Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's representative, Sheikh Abdul Mahdi al-Karbalai.

"The Iraqi people are on the front line of this fight against terrorism," he said referring to the battle with the group, which controls Iraq's second largest city of Mosul and key urban areas in Iraq's Anbar province.

He called the threat from the group "the greatest challenge and danger to the Iraqi people of all religions, sects and ethnic groups".

Despite more than a year of intense air strikes carried out by a US-led coalition supporting Iraqi ground operations, the war against IS in Iraq is largely at a stalemate. Kurdish forces in Iraq's north cut a key highway as they pushed IS forces out of the town of Sinjar, but the larger cities that make up the backbone of the group's operations in Iraq remain under tight IS control.

PA Media

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