Sunni leaders in Iraq have suspended talks on a new government after a massacre on a Sunni mosque in the north east of Iraq which left more than 70 people dead.
A suicide bomber blew himself up near the entrance of the Musab bin Omair Mosque in the village of Imam Wais during Friday prayers then gunmen opened fire on worshipers.
It’s not clear who was behind the attack but as fingers point at a Shiite group, a senior Iraqi Shiite militia leader condemned the bloodshed.
Qais al-Khazali, leader of Asaib Ahl al-Haq said: “What happened yesterday is a crime in the full sense of the term, that we cannot turn a blind eye to. We cannot defend it and use light words to qualify it. There were women and children in the mosque. Killing them is barbaric. It is something we do not accept and we categorically condemn.”
On the streets of Baghdad, local residents expressed their horror at the deadly attack. Many believe it was done by outside forces trying to destabilise Iraq.
One man said: “There are vicious and evil hands trying to destroy Iraqi society and put division and destruction among Iraqis. I assure you that the those who are playing with the Iraqi society are not Iraqis.”
The violence continued into Saturday. Two suicide bomb attacks in in Bagdad and Tikrit killed at least 17 people in apparent revenge attacks.
In the city of Kirkuk, 250 kilometres north of Baghdad, three car bombs appeared to be targeting Kurdish forces killed six people.
And in the capital of Iraq’s Kurdistan region, Erbil, a car bomb exploded.