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More Sunni Mosques Bombed in Iraq
by IOL (reposted)
Friday Jun 15th, 2007 6:50 AM
BASRA — A revered Sunni mosque was destroyed in a bomb attack near the southern Shiite city of Basra on Friday, June 15, in the latest of retaliation attacks to the bombing of a Shiite shrine last week.
"The (Talha Ibn Obeidallah) mosque is completely destroyed," Major General Ali Mussawi, the head of a government-formed security committee for Basra, was quoted as saying by Agence France-Presse (AFP).

He said that the mosque was destroyed by a group of people pretending to film the worship place.

"They said they wanted to film the mosque. But they went after planting bombs around it," he said.

He said two explosions within minutes of each other rocked the place, destroying its two domes and a minaret, adding that the mosque security guards have been detained and the site surrounded by troops.

Several Sunni mosques have been attacked or bombed in tit-for-tat violence since Wednesday's bombing of the Shiite Al-Askari shrine in the northern town of Samarra.

On Thursday, two Sunni mosques in Iskandiriyah and one in Mahawil, both south of Baghdad, were bombed.

Blasts destroyed the minarets of the Al-Askari shrine, sparking fears of fresh sectarian bloodletting in the war-torn country.

The Samarra shrine was first attacked in February 2006.

The US military said on Friday that more than 650 Iraqi and US troops have been sent to guard the Al-Askari shrine after Wednesday's attack.


The retaliatory attack on the Sunni mosque came as the US military said that the new troops surge in Iraq ordered by President George W. Bush has completed, Reuters reported.

by MEO (reposted)
Friday Jun 15th, 2007 7:36 AM

HILLA, Iraq - Two more Sunni mosques were bombed early Thursday in apparent reprisals after a revered Shiite shrine was damaged by suspected Al-Qaeda militants in northern Iraq, police said.

The Al-Mustafa mosque in Iskandiriyah and the Al-Bashir mosque in Mahawil, both towns located in Babil province south of Baghdad, were bombed in the early hours Thursday, Lieutenant Kamal al-Ameri of Hilla police said.

Since the attack on the Al-Askari shrine in the northern town of Samarra on Wednesday, six Sunni mosques have been attacked.

A few hours after the Samarra bombing, three mosques in Iskandiriyah - the Grand Mosque, the Abdullah Jubburi mosque and the Hatteen mosque - and the Khudair al-Janabi mosque in Baghdad's Bayaa neighbourhood, were bombed, police and local residents said.

by MEO (reposted)
Friday Jun 15th, 2007 7:37 AM

BASRA, Iraq - Assailants pretending to be a film crew destroyed a Sunni shrine near the southern Iraqi city of Basra on Friday as militants carried out more revenge attacks for the bombing of a Shiite shrine.

The US military, meanwhile, announced the deaths of five more soldiers taking its losses already this month to 36.

The shrine of Talha bin Obeidallah in the town of Zubair, west of overwhelmingly Shiite Basra, was destroyed at dawn, an Iraqi army officer said.

"A group of people carrying a camera arrived at the Talha bin Obeidallah shrine at 6:00 am (0200 GMT)," said Major General Ali Mussawi.

"They said they wanted to film the mosque. But they went about planting bombs around it.

"The structure is completely destroyed," he said, adding that the shrine's security guards had been detained for questioning.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki condemned what he described as a terrorist act and ordered an indefinite curfew imposed on British-patrolled Basra from 4:00 pm (1200 GMT) to prevent any further tit-for-tat violence.

"The terrorist act which targeted the shrine came as part of a series of crimes aimed at inflaming sectarian passions among the sons of the country," the Shiite premier said in a statement.

"Those who have committed it are enemies of Allah, the country and the people."

Several Sunni mosques have been attacked in tit-for-tat violence since Wednesday's bombing of the Shiite Al-Askari shrine in the city of Samarra, north of Baghdad.