Two blasts kill 16 in mainly Sunni district of Baghdad: sources

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 23, 2013 12:30 PM
Two blasts kill 16 in mainly Sunni district of Baghdad: sources

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Two bombs that exploded inside a funeral tent in a mainly Sunni district of Baghdad killed at least 16 people on Monday, police and medical sources said.

The bombing in Adhamiya, which also wounded 30 people, is the third of its kind in a week to target funeral tents in Baghdad. An attack on the Shi'ite stronghold of Sadr City killed 85 people on Saturday.

"Everyone was preparing for dinner before the first explosion happened, and when it happened and people gathered to investigate the situation, the second bomb blew up," said Hassan al-Quraishi, a policeman at the scene.

"Chaos swept the place. Pools of blood, body remains and shoes are covering the ground," Quraishi said.

Iraq's intercommunal balance has come under strain from the civil war in neighboring Syria, where mainly Sunni rebels are fighting to overthrow a leader backed by Shi'ite Iran.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for Monday's bombing but a Sunni insurgency, including al-Qaeda's Iraqi wing, has intensified its attacks since the beginning of the year.

Shi'ites, security personnel government employees of both sects and governmental-backed Sunni "Sahwa" militia members are prime targets for al-Qaeda and the Sunni insurgents. The United Nations mission in Iraq said about 800 Iraqis were killed in acts of violence in August.

Iraq has also witnessed several incidents in recent weeks suggesting that Shi'ite militias, which have so far largely refrained from retaliating, may once again be resorting to violence.

(Reporting by Kareem Raheem; Writing by Suadad al-Salhy; Editing by Angus MacSwan)