Iraq: Bombings near Shia mosque kill seven

Iraq: Bombings near Shia mosque kill seven
A suicide blast and a roadside bomb have targeted a Shia mosque in a southern Baghdad neighbourhood, killing seven people and wounding 18.
2 min read
20 November, 2015
Baghdad's Shia population has been a frequent target of Sunni militants [Getty]
A roadside bomb followed by a suicide bombing close to a Shia mosque south of Baghdad killed at least seven people and wounded 18 others on Friday, according to al-Araby al-Jadeed's Arabic service.

The first blast struck as worshippers were leaving Friday prayers, while the suicide bomber detonated explosives after security forces arrived to investigate.

Security officers were among the dead and wounded, but the exact number was not immediately clear.

      Bombings in Baghdad have become less frequent [Getty]
"We have deployed a large number of security forces throughout the capital and set up laptop-equipped check points that can analyse license plate numbers of cars that enter sensitive areas," police chief Ghassan al-Haidari told al-Araby al-Jadeed's Iraq correspondent.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but Sunni extremists, including the Islamic State group, often carry out bombings targeting Shias, who they consider heretics.

The bombings came a week after a series of attacks claimed by IS targeted Shia Iraqis in Baghdad, killing at least 19 people.

On Thursday, the Iraqi army discovered a box of dolls rigged with explosives reportedly aimed at killing Shia children.

IS overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in June 2014, sweeping security forces aside, and though Iraqi forces have since pushed the jihadists back, the group still holds much of western Iraq.

Bombings in Baghdad have become less frequent since the IS offensive last year, which analysts say is due to the militants being occupied by fighting elsewhere.

However, over the past week, the group has stepped up its assaults outside its "borders", bombing Beirut, Baghdad, and Paris within a 24-hour period.