Last updated: 13 July, 2013

Suicide bomber targets mourners as at least 22 are killed in Iraq

Attacks in Iraq including bombings targeting a cafe and mourners killed at least 22 people on Saturday, security and medical officials said.

In the deadliest attack, a roadside bomb exploded near a cafe in the Dura area of south Baghdad, killing at least nine people and wounding at least 32.

The blast came a day after a suicide bombing at a cafe in the northern city of Kirkuk killed 41 people and wounded 35.

In the village of Zahra, north of Baghdad, a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-rigged vehicle near a funeral tent where family members of a deceased Shiite man were receiving condolences.

Five people — one civilian and four police — were killed and 10 wounded in the blast, two days after a similar attack in nearby Muqdadiyah killed 10 mourners.

Sunni militants including those linked to Al-Qaeda frequently target members of the Shiite majority, whom they regard as apostates.

Iraq has been hit by a surge in violence that has killed more than 2,500 people this year, including over 330 this month alone.

Analysts point to widespread discontent among the Sunni minority and the Shiite authorities’ failure to address their grievances as the main factors driving the increase in violence.

Also on Saturday, a roadside bomb in a Shiite area of Muqdadiyah killed two people and wounded five, while another exploded when people gathered at the scene, wounding four more.

In Madain, south of Baghdad, a roadside bomb targeting young men playing a game popular during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, killing two people and wounding at least seven.

In Baquba, north of the capital, gunmen killed a shop owner, while others shot dead an army officer in the northern city of Mosul.

And gunmen killed a soldier and wounded another in Kirkuk, also in northern Iraq.

Gunmen also crossed into western Iraq from Syria on Saturday and clashed with border police, leaving one dead and five wounded.

Iraq has sought to publicly avoid taking sides in the civil war between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and rebels seeking his ouster, but the conflict has spilled over the border on several occasions.