Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Multiple Sunni Mosques Attacked

Iraqis Brace for Possible Sectarian Bloodshed Following Bombing of Shiite Shrine

Iraqis are bracing for an explosion of sectarian violence following Wednesday morning's bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra , and information has begun to surface of attacks being mounted against Sunni mosques throughout the day.

The reporting is spotty, but current accounts indicate that at least one--but possibly three--Sunni mosques south of Baghdad were bombed, one in western Baghdad was set on fire, and one north of Baghdad was targeted with mortars.

Reuters reports that local police said gunmen blew up Iskandariya's Grand Mosque, completely destroying the building.

VOI, however, reports that three mosques were bombed--Grand Iskandariyah Mosque, Hiteen Mosque and Abdullah Mosque.

"Three mosques were brought down after unknown gunmen detonated explosives inside them," a security source, who asked not to be named, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI).

Dia Hamid/AFP/Getty
Samarra, IRAQ: Smoke billows from the Shiite Imam al-Askari shrine in the restive city of Samarra, north of Baghdad, 13 June 2007

AP cites police sources reporting that two Sunni mosques were bombed south of the capital, and arsonists set fire to a Sunni mosque in western Baghdad.

Violence also erupted at a Sunni mosque in Ghazaliyah, a mixed Sunni-Shia neighbourhood in north Baghdad, said one resident, who asked to remain anonymous.

Mortars were aimed at the El-Muhajareen Mosque followed by clashes between gunmen and the guards inside the mosque. After 45 minutes, the Iraqi Army and National Guard arrived at the scene to secure the area, the resident said.

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