MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) - A suicide bomber driving a truck attacked a Shi‘ite mosque near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul as Friday prayers ended, killing at least five people and wounding 70, police and health officials said.
The mosque where the bomber detonated his explosives belonged to the Shabak minority in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad.
“A suicide car bomber targeted a Shabak mosque in Mwafaqiya village,” said Hanin Qaddo, a local Shabak leader. “Part of the mosque building collapsed over the heads of the worshippers as they were leaving.”
A wave of attacks on mainly Shi‘ite pilgrims and religious sites in recent months has increased worries about sectarian violence as Iraq’s Shi‘ite, Sunni and Kurdish leaders struggle to end a crisis over their fragile power-sharing agreement.
The site of Friday’s blast is near disputed territories at the centre of a feud between Baghdad’s Arab-led central government and the autonomous Kurdistan region in the north, which runs its own government and armed forces.
Insurgents have carried out at least one major bombing a month since Americans troops left in December. July was the bloodiest month in two years, including one day of attacks that left more than 100 dead.
Reporting by Baghdad newsroom; Writing by Patrick Markey, editing by Tim Pearce