Two suicide attackers targeted worshippers leaving a crowded Shiite mosque on Friday in the northern city of Tal Afar, killing four people and wounding 17, police said.
The explosions occurred outside the Sheik Juwad mosque early Friday afternoon as worshippers were leaving services. Major General Najim Abdullah, the city’s mayor, said the first bomber “threw a grenade on worshippers before he blew himself up.”
A few minutes later, the second attacker ran toward people who were busy in the aftermath of the first explosion. “But police opened fire on him before he reached the people,” the mayor said.
Tal Afar police chief Brigadier General Ibrahim Al Juburi said security forces shot both bombers but that the men still managed to detonate their suicide vests.
A police officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to release information, said the second attacker blew himself up without causing casualties.
The mayor said three people were killed and 17 wounded, although police put the death toll at four and said all the casualties were caused by the first attack.
Tal Afar is 420km northwest of Baghdad, near the Syrian border in the northern province of Nineveh. This is one of the provinces where Iraqi and US commanders says Al Qaeda in Iraq has regrouped after being chased out of Baghdad and surrounding belts. (AP & AFP)
Twin suicide attacks at Iraq Shiite mosque kill four: police