Middle East

Twin blasts kill mourners at Baghdad funeral

Bombs in mainly Sunni Muslim district are the third attack on a funeral in the Iraqi capital in as many days.

Last Modified: 24 Sep 2013 12:33
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At least 16 people were killed in the two bomb attacks in the Adhamiya district [Reuters]

Two bombs planted inside a funeral tent in a mainly Sunni Muslim district of Baghdad have killed at least 16 people, police and medical sources said.

A further 30 people were wounded in the explosion in the northern Adhamiya district.

"Everyone was preparing for dinner before the first explosion happened, and when it happened and people gathered to investigate the situation, the second bomb blew up," said Hassan al-Quraishi, a policeman at the scene.

"Chaos swept the place. Pools of blood, body remains and shoes are covering the ground," he said.

The attack comes a day after a suicide bomber struck a Sunni funeral in Baghdad on Sunday, killing at least 16 people. A triple bombing targeting Shia Muslim mourners in the Sadr City district killed at least 85 people on Saturday.

Earlier in the day, police said armed men broke into the home of a Shia family in a Sunni-dominated area south of Baghdad and killed three members of a family.

Two police officers said the gunmen attacked the house in the town of Youssifiyah, killing the parents and their 16-year-old son. Two other children, aged 12 and 14 years, were wounded.

Sectarian conflict

The violence raises the spectre of the bloody sectarian conflict that peaked in 2006-2007 and killed thousands of people.

There are persistent fears, bolstered by a spate of sectarian attacks this year, of a return to all-out conflict between Iraq's majority Shia and minority Sunni communities.

The United Nations on Sunday warned against revenge attacks for the Sadr City blasts.

"Violence in all forms must be condemned, but I am particularly appalled by the increasing number of vicious attacks against those already bereaved," the acting UN envoy to Iraq, Gyorgy Busztin, said in a statement.

"Retaliation can only bring more violence and it is the responsibility of all leaders to take strong action not to let violence escalate further."

About 800 Iraqis were killed in acts of violence in August, according to the UN.


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