Ex­plo­sions rip through Bagh­dad mosque, killing 10

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - World -

A PAIR of ex­plo­sions ripped through a mosque in a mostly Shi­ite dis­trict of Iraq’s cap­i­tal Wed­nes­day, killing at least 10 wor­ship­pers, in­clud­ing two chil­dren, se­cu­rity of­fi­cials said.

They said the blasts in Bagh­dad’s Sadr City dis­trict also wounded 25 peo­ple, al­most com­pletely de­stroyed the mosque and dam­aged sev­eral nearby houses.

The of­fi­cials agreed to give de­tails of the at­tack only on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause they were not autho­rised to speak to the me­dia.

A govern­ment state­ment said the blasts oc­curred at a weapons de­pot in Sadr City. It said an in­ves­ti­ga­tion was un­der­way to de­ter­mine the cause of the ex­plo­sions, but did not give the ex­act lo­ca­tion of the de­pot.

The of­fi­cials said weapons were stored in­side the mosque, which is fre­quented by sup­port­ers of Muq­tada alsadr, a Shi­ite cleric whose sup­port­ers once fought Amer­i­can troops in Iraq in the years af­ter the Us-led in­va­sion of Iraq in 2003.

Al-sadr’s fol­low­ers won the largest num­ber of seats in Iraq’s May 12 par­lia­men­tary elec­tions but would have to form a coali­tion govern­ment with other blocs in a process that could drag on for months.

Al-sadr also com­mands a govern­ment-backed para­mil­i­tary force, which took part in the nearly three­year war against the Is­lamic State group, which had in 2013 and 2014 seized large swathes of Iraq’s ter­ri­tory. Iraq de­clared vic­tory over IS last year, but the ex­trem­ist group re­tains pock­ets in west­ern and north­ern Iraq and con­tin­ues to stage at­tacks on se­cu­rity forces.

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