Wave Of Violence Strikes Across Iraq: Twin Bomb Blasts At Sunni Mosque Deadliest, At Least 43 Killed

  @AmruthaGayathri on May 18 2013 8:32 AM
Iraq bomb blast
People gather at the site of a bomb attack in Baquba on May 17, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer

Twin bomb blasts hit a Sunni Muslim mosque in the Iraqi city of Baquba, some 50 kilometers (31 miles) to the northeast of Baghdad, on Friday, killing at least 43 people, the deadliest incident in a spate of sectarian violence across the country.

Another bomb exploded on Friday in a commercial area in western Baghdad, killing at least 19 people, Reuters news agency reported citing Iraqi officials.

Early Saturday, gunmen attacked a house of an anti-terror police officer in the southern suburbs of Baghdad, killing him, his wife and their two children aged eight and 10, the AP reported citing Iraqi officials.

The assailants also killed a policeman who tried to stop them at a nearby checkpoint, the report stated.

In Baquba, police said the first bomb exploded while the worshippers were leaving Friday prayer services at the mosque. The second explosion followed shortly afterward as people gathered to help the wounded, leaving dozens wounded apart from the 43 deaths, Reuters reported.

In yet another incident, eight people died and more than 20 were wounded during the funeral of a Sunni Muslim cleric who was killed a day earlier. Two more were killed in the southern outskirts of Baghdad at another funeral, while four others were killed in a roadside bomb explosion next to a coffee shop in the city of Falluja.

The AP put Friday's overall death toll at more than 58.

Iraq has been embroiled in sectarian strife, with Sunnis holding massive protests to register complaint about alleged neglect and mistreatment by the Shiite-led government.

About 30 mosques were attacked between mid-April to mid-May, killing at least 65 Sunni worshippers, according to an AP estimate.

The U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) estimates last month was the deadliest in Iraq since June 2008.

According to figures released by the UNAMI, a total of 712 people were killed and 1,633 were wounded in violence in April.

The majority of victims were civilians, with 595 people killed and 1,438 injured. A further 117 members of the Iraqi Security Forces were killed and 195 were injured, the report stated.

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