First Published: 2013-01-23

 

Bomb attacks do not spare funerals in Iraq: Scores killed in Baghdad

 

Suicide bomber makes his way into Shiite mosque north of Baghdad, blows himself up in middle of packed funeral, killing 42 people.

 

Middle East Online

By Marwan Ibrahim – KIRKUK (Iraq)

Violence: Daily occurrence in Iraq

A suicide bomber made his way into a Shiite mosque north of Baghdad and blew himself up in the middle of a packed funeral on Wednesday, killing 42 people and leaving corpses scattered across the floor.

The attack, the deadliest in six months, is likely to heighten tensions as Iraq grapples with a political crisis and more than a month of protests in Sunni-majority areas that have hardened opposition to Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

No group claimed responsibility, but Sunni militants often launch attacks in a bid to destabilise the government and push Iraq back towards the sectarian violence that blighted it from 2005 to 2008.

The bomber struck at the Sayid al-Shuhada mosque in Tuz Khurmatu, 175 kilometres (110 miles) north of Baghdad, and targeted the funeral of a relative of a politician who was shot dead a day earlier.

"Corpses are on the ground of the Husseiniyah (Shiite mosque)," said Shallal Abdul, mayor of Tuz Khurmatu. "The suicide bomber managed to enter and blow himself up in the middle of the mourners."

Niyazi Moamer Oghlu, secretary general of the provincial council of Salaheddin, which surrounds Tuz Khurmatu, put the toll from the attack at 42 dead and 75 wounded.

Among those hurt were officials and tribal leaders, including Ali Hashem Oghlu, the deputy chief of the Iraqi Turkman Front and a provincial councillor in Salaheddin.

The funeral had been for Oghlu's brother-in-law, who killed in Tuz on Tuesday.

Tuz Khurmatu lies in a tract of disputed territory that Kurdistan wants to incorporate into its autonomous three-province region against the wishes of the central government in Baghdad.

The row is regarded by diplomats and officials as the greatest long-term threat to Iraq's stability.

The death toll from Wednesday's blast was the highest from a single attack since a series of bombings north of Baghdad on July 23 killed 42 people.

Also on Wednesday, gunmen killed a school principal near the main northern city of Mosul and an anti-Qaeda militiaman was shot dead near the predominantly Sunni town of Fallujah.

Wednesday's violence came after a wave of attacks on Tuesday killed 26 people and wounded dozens more.

That broke four days of relative calm following a spate of incidents claimed by Al-Qaeda's front group that killed at least 88 people on January 15-17, according to a tally.

The militant group is widely seen as weaker than during the peak of Iraq's sectarian bloodshed, but is still capable of carrying out mass-casualty attacks on a regular basis.

The latest wave of violence means the overall death toll from bloodshed in Iraq this month has already surpassed that of any of the previous three months, according to a tally based on reports from security and medical officials.

Attacks in Iraq are down from their peak in 2006-2007, but they are still common across the country.

The unrest comes amid a political crisis that has pitted Maliki against several of his erstwhile government partners, less than three months before provincial elections.

 

Saudi insists demands on Qatar non-negotiable

US court halts deportations of Iraqi nationals

Yemen cholera outbreak shows signs of slowing

Over 8,000 migrants rescued in Med in 48 hours

Lebanon’s grocery business booming thanks to refugees

Children in the lead as families escape Raqa

Turkey remembers Istanbul airport attack

30 civilians dead in Syria air strikes

Celebrating Eid al-Fitr, even if worries abound

Libya’s cash crisis worsens three years into civil war

Turkish army clashes with Kurdish militia in Syria

Qatar says Garcia Report 'vindicates' 2022 bid

US Supreme Court to decide on Iran artifact case

Hamas says travel documents for sick Gazans being refused

Former Syrian defence minister Mustafa Tlass dies in Paris

Iran says US reinstating travel ban 'regrettable'

GCC construction outlook to improve with oil prices recovery and implementation of reforms

57 dead in US-led strikes on IS Syria prison

Kremlin denounces US ‘threats’ against Assad

Mattis says US wants to steer clear of war in Syria

Mali activists call for referendum to be abandoned

Iraq forces battle deep into devastated Old Mosul

Iraqi forces control two thirds of Mosul Old City

Banned Bahraini newspaper fires staff

New crown prince widely welcomed in Saudi Arabia

Assad leads Eid prayers in Syria’s Hama

Lone-wolf attacks raise concern about new trend in terror

Erdogan slams Saudi demands of Qatar as illegal

Sudan making 'positive' steps on meeting US sanctions terms

Mecca suicide bombing injures six

Gulf crisis heats up as Qatar receives list of demands

Suicide attacks kill at least three people in Mosul

Civilians killed in Iraq suicide bomb attacks

UN warns Yemen cholera outbreak could infect 300,000 by September

Putin launches deep-water phase of TurkStream pipeline

Berlin warns Ankara against meddling in religious affairs

Asian states downplay 'Russia proposal' to send troops to Syria

Iran’s Salehi urges West to save historic nuclear deal

Iran, allies mark Jerusalem Day with rallies

US-led Syria strikes kill 472 civilians in one month

Morocco dismantles 'IS-linked cell plotting tourist attacks'

France sets out tough new anti-terror law

Russia warships, submarine strike IS targets in Syria

Trump-Saudi ties help pave way for new Saudi crown prince

Makeshift clinic saves lives near Syria’s Raqa