Mosques targetted in Iraq, Pakistan, 51 killed

Malakand/Baghdad: Extremist rebels targetted Muslim places of worship on the Islamic holy day of Friday in several parts of the embattled Muslim world in a desperate bid to stoke sectarian discord.

Twin bomb attacks on Friday killed at least 13 people outside mosques in Malakand division of restive region of Pakistan's north west, officials said.

The blasts targeted the two mosques in the Baazdara area of northwestern Malakand region, officials said.

“The two blasts killed at least 13 people and wounded 48 others,” they said. “Eight of the injured people are in a critical condition,” they added.

The bombs were detonated by remote control but information was slow to filter through from the far-flung, mountainous area where there is no mobile phone coverage.

“One blast took place inside a mosque and the second one occurred at the main gate of the second mosque,” an official Imran Khan was quoted as saying by AFP.

Survivors said that the bombs exploded as people were leaving the mosques at the end of the weekly Friday sermon.

An eyewitness said the front gate and the roof on the veranda of the mosque were destroyed by the blasts.

Northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province is on the frontline of a nearly seven-year Taliban insurgency and abuts the semi-autonomous tribal belt where Pakistani troops are fighting against homegrown militants.

38 dead in Iraq mosque bomb

Two bombs near a mosque north of Baghdad killed 38 people and wounded 55 on Friday, police and a doctor said, after two days of attacks targeting Iraqi Shias in which dozens died.

One bomb exploded as worshippers were departing the Saria mosque in the city of Baquba while a second detonated after people gathered at the scene of the first blast, the sources said.

The violence raises the spectre of tit-for-tat killings common during the height of sectarian violence in Iraq that killed tens of thousands of people, and comes at a time of festering sectarian tensions.

On Thursday, a suicide bomber killed 12 people at the entrance of Al Zahraa Hussainiyah in the city of Kirkuk, where relatives of victims from violence the day before were receiving condolences.

Car bombs also hit three Shia-majority areas of Baghdad on Thursday, killing 10 people, while 21 people died in a series of bombings that mainly hit Shia areas of the capital the day before.

Gunmen also shot dead the brother of a Sunni MP in Baghdad on Thursday.

Attacks on mosques have been witnessed with more freequency of late across many parts of the restive Muslim world.

An explosion at a mosque in the Syrian capital killed at least 42 people, including a senior pro-government Sunni Muslim cleric, and wounded 84 earlier this year.

A suicide bomber hit the Iman Mosque in central Damascus, and Mohammed al-Buti, imam of the ancient Ummayyad Mosque, was among the dead. Agencies

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