Ramadan ends on bloody note in Baghdad

Suicide bombers struck two Shia mosques in Baghdad, killing at least 16 people, on Thursday as worshippers marked the end of the Ramadan fasting month. Another six people were shot dead in an ambush in a city north of Baghdad.


Twin suicide bombings near Shia mosques in Baghdad on Thursday killed at least 16 people as worshippers celebrated Eid al-Fitr, the festival marking the end of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, officials said.

Another six people were shot dead in an ambush in a restive city north of the capital, they said.

Security officials said a suicide bomber blew himself up in Jadida, a Shia district of southern Baghdad, killing 12 people and wounding 30.

In the second attack, a bomber slammed his explosives-filled car into an Iraqi military armoured vehicle at a checkpoint near a mosque in the nearby neighbourhood of Zafaraniyah, the officials said.

They said the attack killed four, including three soldiers and wounded 10 worshippers.

Six people were also killed when gunmen opened fire at a minibus near the city of Baquba, the capital of the restive province of Diyala, a security official said.

The latest wave of attacks came as the majority of Shia in Iraq celebrated Eid, a day after Sunni Muslims began to mark the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

Iraq has seen a downward trend in violence since the middle of last year, although bloodshed spiked in March and April during clashes between Shia militiamen and US-led security forces.

On Wednesday, four people were killed and 15 wounded in a car bomb attack at a mosque in Balad, north of Baghdad, as devotees gathered for prayers, the US military said.

The bomb exploded in the car park of the Sayid Mohammed mosque in Balad in the Sunni province of Salaheddin, the military said, adding that there was no damage to the mosque.

It said mild weather and a festive atmosphere had drawn crowds to the mosque in the early afternoon.

In February, a suicide car bombing killed 23 people in a village near Balad.

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