A bombing at a Sunni mosque near Baghdad killed three worshippers and wounded seven others, police said, reflecting rising sectarian tensions across Iraq, AP news agency reported.

Police said a bomb went off after Friday mid-day Muslim prayers as worshippers were leaving the al-Sultan mosque in Mahaweel, 55 km south of the capital.

Insurgents have been targeting Sunni mosques following a deadly crackdown by security forces on a Sunni protest site in Hawija town last month. Sunnis were protesting perceived discrimination by the Shia-dominated Baghdad government.

The surge in sectarian-based fighting raises concerns that the nation is on a path back to the fighting of the last decade that approached a state of civil war.

Also Friday, police said a bomb explosion struck an army patrol in western Iraq, killing one soldier and wounding two others.

Hospital officials confirmed the casualties. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to reporters.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the mosque attack.

Source: AP