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At least 20 dead in Baghdad attacks (moved from ATSNN)

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posted on Feb, 18 2005 @ 11:04 AM
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Three of the blasts -- two suicide bombings and a rocket attack -- targeted Shiite mosques, officials said. The first one occurred in a southern neighborhood as Shiites participated in an Ashura holiday procession to al-Khadimain mosque. At least 15 people were killed and more than 24 wounded.

 



www.cnn.com
Three of the blasts -- two suicide bombings and a rocket attack -- targeted Shiite mosques, officials said. The first one occurred in a southern neighborhood as Shiites participated in an Ashura holiday procession to al-Khadimain mosque. At least 15 people were killed and more than 24 wounded. A witness saw the bomber approach the procession to the mosque, detonating a suicide vest.

The second strike involved at least two suicide attackers at a Shiite mosque in the Iraqi capital's western sector, U.S. military officials said. Two were killed and eight wounded in the attack, Iraqi police said. It was unclear if the death toll included the bombers. In northwestern Baghdad, a rocket fired in the direction of a Shiite mosque struck a coffee shop, killing one person and wounding three, police said. Police said they believe the intended target was the Husseiniyat al Thaqilan mosque.

In the fourth attack, a suicide bomber killed an Iraqi police officer and an Iraqi soldier and wounded 12 people at a checkpoint in a Sunni neighborhood in northern Baghdad. Iraqi National Security Adviser Mowaffaq al-Rubaie said the attacks intend "to try to draw a rift, to dig a wedge between the Shia and Sunnis in this country." He said the insurgents were "trying to portray themselves as defending Islam against the infidels and the foreigners." "They are blowing up pilgrims; they are blowing up people who are attending the mosque to do their Friday prayers." Fearing this kind of violence, authorities have closed Iraq's borders during the Shiite holy days. Ashura is the commemoration of the death of Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammad. Attacks last year during Ashura killed more than 180 people in Baghdad and Karbala, south of the capital.

Also Friday, Najaf's police chief said his two sons were found dead outside Karbala after being kidnapped the day before. Ghalib al-Jazari said the bullet-riddled bodies were found with their hands tied behind their backs. Meanwhile, Indonesia's Foreign Ministry said a pair of Indonesian journalists were missing in Iraq and may have been taken captive by uniformed gunmen. "At this time, we hope that this is not confirmed, but if it is confirmed clearly we will do all we can to ensure that they will be released," Foreign Ministry spokesman Marty Natalegawa said.



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