03-20-2018  2:51 am      •     
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By Mohammed Tawfeeq CNN

Bombs struck Sunnis leaving a mosque and attending a funeral in Iraq, killing dozens on Friday as tensions between Sunnis and Shiites fester.

At least 40 people were killed and 46 others were wounded Friday in two roadside explosions outside a Sunni mosque in the Iraqi city of Baquba, police and health officials told CNN. Baquba, the largest city in Diyala province, is about 60 kilometers (37 miles) north of Baghdad.

South of Baghdad in the town of al-Madaan, police said at least eight people were killed and 25 others were wounded Friday when a roadside bomb exploded at a funeral procession for the Sunni mayor of the town, who died on Thursday.

In the al-Jamia neighborhood in western Baghdad, a roadside bomb exploded outside the house of Sunni parliamentarian Ahmed al-Massari, wounding two bodyguards on Friday morning, police said. Al-Massari's brother was shot dead near his house in the Baghdad neighborhood of al-Bayaa on Thursday.

Overall, violence has dropped significantly in Iraq since the peak of sectarian violence, between 2005 and 2007. But tensions and violence, stirred in part by enmity between Shiites and Sunnis, have persisted since the U.S-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

On Thursday, 11 people -- six in Baghdad and five in Kirkuk -- died in attacks in the two major Iraqi cities The bloodiest attack was in the northern city of Kirkuk, where a suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest Thursday afternoon at the main entrance to a Shiite mosque, police said.

On Wednesday, bombings in Kirkuk and Baghdad left at least 29 people dead and 120 wounded, police said.


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