Two mosques bombed in Iraq

HILLA: Two mosques were put to blasts in innermost part of the capital in Iraq on Monday, in the midst of worries of transformed sectarian conflict subsequent to Saudi Arab’s capital punishment of a major Shia cleric, police and medics alleged.

In Hilla, almost 80 kilometers south of Iraq’s capital, a police officer stated that Ammar bin Yasser mosque in Bakerli locality was destroyed after midnight.

There was a group of men who were wearing military uniforms which were set off with explosives at the two mosques during the night. It is also said that a moazzin was shot dead near his home in Iskandariyah.

According to the captain:

“After we heard the explosion, we went to its source and found that IEDs had been planted in the mosque.”

The captain further added that almost 10 houses were damaged because of the explosion.

“Residents said a group of people with military uniforms carried out this operation,”

Similar damage was experienced by The Al-Fateh mosque in a village called Sinjar which is just outside Hilla.

According to the information provided by the police captain, three or four men in military uniforms were implicated in that bombing.

“They took advantage of the cold weather, there was nobody outside,” he said.

Three people were wounded in the explosions according to information by a medical source in Hilla.

Close to the town of Iskandariyah, almost 40 km of Baghdad the blast was carried out but no instantaneous claim of accountability for the blasts was taken.

“He was ambushed by unknown gunmen near his house,” Iskandariyah police stated and the death was also confirmed by a doctor.

To the South of Baghdad is the area called Iskandariyah which is a mixed Sunni-Shia area and was once called “the triangle of death”. The state has been roughly affected by sectarian hostility in the preceding decade.

The death sentence held in Saudi Arabia of well-known Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr ignited fury and outrage in Iraq.

Shia politicians and clerics collectively condemned the execution whereas many leaders of the Sunni minority also stayed silent.

Remonstration took place in Baghdad and in many other parts of the country. Another protest was to be carried out by prominent cleric and militia leader Moqtada al-Sadr.

Iran has charged Saudi Arab of using Nimr’s death sentence to stir up sectarian strain in the region.

Tehran has presaged Saudi Arab that it would have to pay a “high price” for the execution, which was one of 47 carried out on Saturday.