Suicide attacks kill 23 in Iraq

AP News
Posted: Jan 08, 2015 7:32 AM

BAGHDAD (AP) — Suicide attacks targeting security checkpoints and Shiite worshippers killed 23 people in Iraq on Thursday, officials said.

Police said a suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden car into a police checkpoint in the town of Youssifiyah, just south of the capital Baghdad, killing three police and four civilians, and wounding another 21 people.

Later on, a suicide bomber driving a pickup loaded with explosives struck a checkpoint manned by police and Shiite militiamen near the city of Samarra, killing eight people and wounding 23 others. Samarra and surrounding areas have repeatedly come under attack in recent months by the Islamic State group. Samarra is 95 kilometers (60 miles) north of Baghdad.

After noon prayers, a suicide bomber set off his explosives belt among Shiite worshippers who were leaving a mosque in western Baghdad, killing eight worshippers and wounding 16 others.

The Islamic State extremist group and other Sunni radicals consider Shiites to be apostates deserving of death.

Medical officials confirmed the casualty figures from all attacks. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to journalists.

Iraq sees near-daily bombings and other attacks mainly targeting the Shiite majority and security forces. The attacks are often claimed by the Islamic State group, which seized much of northern and western Iraq last year.