BAGHDAD: A suicide bomber struck a Sunni funeral in Baghdad yesterday, killing at least 12 people, Iraqi officials said, a day after blasts targeting Shia mourners killed more than 70.
Major attacks have alternatively hit Sunnis, Shiias, and then Sunnis again over the past three days. Iraq was ravaged by bloody Sunni-Shia violence that peaked in 2006-2007 and killed thousands of people, and there are persistent fears that the country could return to all-out sectarian conflict. The suicide bombing in the Dura area of south Baghdad hit a funeral tent for a Sunni man who had been shot dead three days before, and also wounded 46 people.
On Saturday, two bombings targeted people mourning a tribal sheikh in Sadr City, a Shiite district of north Baghdad, killing at least 73 people and wounding more than 200. And on Friday, two bombs exploded in a Sunni mosque near Samarra, north of Baghdad, killing 18.
The United Nations had earlier warned against revenge attacks for the Sadr City bombings.
“Retaliation can only bring more violence and it is the responsibility of all leaders to take strong action not to let violence escalate further,” Gyorgy Busztin, the UN secretary general’s deputy special representative for Iraq, said in a statement.
“Attacks like these are perpetrated by a small minority of terrorists who wish to destabilise Iraq,” the British embassy said of the Sadr City blasts. AFP