Suicide Bomber Targets Iraq Mosque

iraq

At least twelve people have been killed in an attack on a Shia place of worship, or husseiniyah, in the northern Iraq city of Kirkuk, the AFP news agency reports.

A senior police officer said a suicide bomber tried to enter al-Zahraa husseiniyah on Thursday, but was prevented by police from doing so, and detonated an explosives-rigged belt near the entrance instead.

The blast also wounded 18 people, said the officer.

A spate of bomb blasts in the country earlier in the day killed at least 14 people and wounded more than 30 others.

In one attack, a car bomb in the Sadr City area of Baghdad killed six people and wounded 17, while another in Kamaliyah in the capital’s east killed three and wounded nine, security and medical officials said.

In another incident, gunmen shot dead the brother of a Sunni MP in the Bayaa area of south Baghdad, they said.

In Iraq’s north, a suicide bomber driving an explosives-rigged vehicle killed two soldiers and wounded three in Mosul, while a car bomb wounded two police officers.

The attacks came as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki blamed sectarianism for the surge in violence in Iraq.

“The bloodshed … is a result of sectarian hatred,” Maliki said in televised remarks. “These crimes are a natural result of the sectarian mindset.”

Tensions are festering between the government of Maliki, and members of the country’s Sunni minority who accuse authorities of targeting their community, including through wrongful detentions and accusations of involvement in terrorism.

Protests broke out in Sunni areas of Iraq almost five months ago.

Violence in Iraq has fallen from its peak in 2006 and 2007, but attacks are still common, killing more than 200 people in each of the first four months of this year.

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