A roadside bomb killed a Sunni cleric and five worshippers when they left a mosque in Bagdhad after Friday prayers, police and medics said, as regional sectarian violence threatens to return Iraq to all-out conflict.
Iraq has become increasingly volatile as the civil war in neighboring Syria strains volatile relations between Sunnis and Shi'ites. April saw the most killings since 2008, but was below the height of sectarian bloodletting in 2006-07.
A further 31 people were wounded in the blast outside the mosque in al-Rashidiya district of Baghdad, medics said.
It was not clear who was behind the attack.
Sunni mosques have been targeted in several recent attacks amid rising sectarian tension in Iraq following a deadly crackdown by security forces on a Sunni protest site in Hawija town last month.
In Samarra, Sunni cleric Mohammed Taha warned that the country is descending to civil war because of what he described as a-Maliki’s dictatorship.
“Al-Maliki has brought the country to the abyss and he refused to meet our demands. This leaves us with two options: Either the civil war or the formation of our own [autonomous] region,” said Taha during the Friday sermon.
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