BAGHDAD (Reuters) - At least seven people were killed and 25 wounded when a bomb exploded in front of a Sunni Muslim mosque in Iraq’s Diyala province as worshippers were leaving after Friday prayers, police and medics said.
A surge of attacks by Sunni Islamists have targeted Shi’ite Muslims this year to try to trigger widespread sectarian confrontation, but Sunni religious sites have also occasionally been hit by bombings.
“We were about 250 worshippers, we were just leaving when the explosion went off. Police were not protecting the mosque and people had to be taken to hospital in cars,” Ahmed al-Karkhi, one of the injured told Reuters by telephone.
Iraq still struggles with tensions among its Shi’ite majority and Sunni and ethnic Kurds who make up a fragile government. Sunni insurgents and Shi’ite militias killed thousands in 2006-2007 when a bombing of an important Shi’ite shrine triggered sectarian mayhem.
Reporting By Raheem Salman; editing by Patrick Markey