18 people were killed and 21 others wounded when a bombing attack struck a Sunni mosque in Iraq on Friday
Friday's attack took place in the city of Samarra, where the deputy head of the municipal council said bombs had been placed inside two of the mosque's air-conditioning units. The explosions went off around midday, during Friday prayers. The official, Mizhar Fleih, said the explosion had also wounded at least 21 people.
"We are worried that the attacks on Sunni and Shia mosques aim at reigniting the sectarian strife in this country,"
Both Sunnis and Shi'ites have crossed into Syria from Iraq to fight on opposite sides of the conflict.
Al Qaeda's Syrian and Iraqi branches merged earlier this year to form the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which has claimed responsibility for attacks on both sides of the border.
Iraq has also witnessed several incidents in recent weeks suggesting that Shi'ite militias, which have so far refrained from retaliating to attacks by Sunni insurgents, may once again be resorting to violence.
Intensifying violence has raised concerns of a return to wider conflict in a country where Shi'ite Muslims, Sunnis and ethnic Kurds have yet to find a stable way of sharing power.
Insurgents killed 18 Afghan policemen and wounded 13 in an ambush this week in a remote northern part of the country, the Interior Ministry said Friday.
The ambush took place on Wednesday in the Wurduj district of Badakshan province. The Taliban claimed responsibility after the attack.
Attacks with high casualty figures are increasingly common as insurgents escalate their campaign against government forces across Afghanistan
Casualties among Afghan security forces have been increasing after they took over the lead for security around the country from foreign troops earlier this summer.
Al-Qaeda's regional wing blamed as car bombings at army base in Shabwah and shooting in Mayfaah claim at least 38 lives.
"These type of attacks are always a signature weapon of al-Qaeda: daring, very sophisticated attacks using bombs planted in vehicles or suicide bombers, we know that al-Qaeda is very, very strong. You're not talking about dozens; you're talking about thousands of fighters, and not only from Yemen."
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