The recent strife is the most deadly the nation has seen in five years, killing more than 4,000 people there since April, 804 of them in August alone, according to the Associated Press. It is raising difficult questions about the security situation in Iraq.
The worst attack Saturday centered on a suicide bomber who targeted a funeral for a member of the Shabak ethnic minority in northern Iraq, killing at least 21 people, Reuters reported. Officials said at least 35 more people were injured in the attack. The bomber used a belt rigged with explosives in a tent at the funeral ceremony outside Mosul, AP said.
No claim of responsibility for the attack on the funeral was immediately made, but observers suspect it was carried out by a person associated with either Sunni militants or al Qaeda operatives, who have been active in violence in the Mosul area for years, forcing many residents to flee the region in fear.
“I was attending the funeral sitting with the women when we heard a huge explosion,” said Umm Mohammed, who was in attendance at the Mosul-area funeral that was bombed Saturday, according to Reuters. “When we went out, we found some men either killed or injured.”
In other deadly attacks reported by AP Saturday, a husband and wife died when a roadside bomb detonated under their car in Dujail; an 11-year-old boy was killed when a bomb struck a minibus in Suleiman Beg; and a factory owner and an employee were slain by a group of armed men in Baghdad.