Baghdad: In Sunni mosques firebombed, at least ten people have been dead and suspected reprisal attacks following a series of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) attacks on Shias in Iraq left scores dead. Attackers firebombed seven mosques in Diyala province on Tuesday in what a Sunni leader described as a “heinous criminal act”.
Witnesses told that Shia militia members were responsible for the attacks in the town of Muqdadiya, 110km north east of Baghdad. The fighters sent out messages on loud speakers calling on Sunni civilians to leave the town within 24 hours or they would be killed. A day earlier, a wave of attacks claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a Sunni group, targeted mainly Shia areas in Baghdad and Muqdadiya.
Among those dead on Tuesday were two journalists working for TV channel al-Sharqiya. Reporter Saif Talal and cameraman Hassan an-Anbaki were gunned down by militia members in the Diyala town of Abu Saida, the network said. In another incident, the parents of a Sunni imam were shot dead by militia fighters when they went to his home and found out he was not there, witnesses said. Abdul Latif al-Humaim, acting head of the Sunni Endowment Diwan, called the attacks in Diyala a “heinous criminal act” and urged the Iraqi government to assume its responsibility and track down the perpetrators. Monday’s bombings and shooting attacks left scores dead.
The deadliest attack was in Muqdadiya, where a suicide bomber killed 42 people and injured another 54 at a cafe. At least 32 people were dead and 58 wounded when ISIL fighters detonated explosives and stormed a mall in the Shia neighbourhood of New Baghdad in the capital. Another seven people were killed in a car bomb attack in the Nahrawan district in the east of Baghdad.
Jan Kubis, the special representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq (SRSG), said. “The perpetrators want to incite sectarian violence, in a desperate attempt to take the country back into the dark days of sectarian strife”.