A suicide bomber has blown himself up inside a Shi’ite mosque in central Baghdad, reportedly killing at least 19 people. Many others were injured.
A Reuters photographer at the site of the blast in the busy district of Shorja said the mosque’s walls were blackened with smoke, blood streaked the ceiling, and prayer mats were strewn around.
Most of the victims were merchants and shopkeepers from the area who had gone to pray. Policeman Abbas Inad
said: “The bomb was so big and stuffed with tiny metal balls to kill as many people as possible.”
It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack, but Sunni Islamist insurgents have regained ground in Iraq over the past year and they are known to target Shi’ites.
Hospital sources said the death toll was likely to rise due to the severity of the injuries.