Iraq attack against Sunni-Shia prayer kills 30
14 September, 2013
BAQUBA: Two nearly simultaneous bombs targeted worshippers streaming out of joint Sunni-Shia prayers north of Baghdad on Friday, killing at least 30 people in the latest deadly surge in violence.
Unrest elsewhere left three others dead, as authorities grapple with Iraq's worst bloodshed since 2008. The country is stuck in a prolonged political deadlock while officials fear neighbouring Syria's 30-month civil war is increasingly spilling over across the border.
Two roadside bombs went off outside the Al-Salam mosque in Baquba, at around midday as Sunnis and Shias left after a joint prayer session. Thirty people were killed and 24 wounded in the twin explosions, according to an army major and Ahmed al-Azzawi, a doctor at the city's main hospital.
No group announced responsibility for the blasts, but Sunni militants linked to al Qaeda have claimed a spate of attacks in recent months in the capital and central Iraq. They frequently target Shia Muslims, whom they regard as apostates.
Baquba, about 60 kilometres north of Baghdad, and the surrounding province of Diyala are mostly populated by Sunni Arabs, although there are substantial Shia Muslim and Kurdish minorities.