Sunni-Shi’ite Jihad Update. By Sinan Salaheddin for the Associated Press:
BAGHDAD – Militants blew up three Sunni mosques south of Baghdad on Wednesday “” apparently revenge strikes for a suicide truck bombing a day before that killed at least 87 people and badly damaged an important Shiite mosque in the capital.
Wednesday’s mosque bombings south of the capital caused no casualties, because no prayers were going on at the time.
Police said suspected Shiite militiamen detonated a bomb inside a Sunni mosque in Haswa, 30 miles south of Baghdad, at about 1 a.m. About six hours later, militants
struck again at mosque near Hillah, about 60 miles south of the capital. A third Sunni mosque was attacked and damaged in an explosion in Iskandariyah, 30 miles south of Baghdad; the mosque was first attacked last week.
Police officials who reported the bombings spoke on condition of anonymity because they feared retribution.
The attackers near Hillah also targeted the imam’s house near the mosque, but the cleric fled when he saw them coming, according to the police.
Tuesday’s suicide truck bombing against the Khulani mosque in central Baghdad
was the deadliest single attack in Iraq since April 18, when at least 127 civilians were killed when a bomb detonated parked car at a mostly Shiite market in central Baghdad.
At a joint briefing with a U.S. military spokesman, Iraqi army spokesman Brig.
Qassim al-Mousawi said the truck was carrying about 50 cooking gas cylinders and about
1,100 pounds of TNT.
Asked how the suicide bomber managed to drive his truck bomb through Baghdad and next to the mosque, al-Mousawi said that it was booby-trapped in the nearby industrial area of Sheik Omar. There were no checkpoints between there and the mosque, he
Authorities are planning to put security fences near the mosques.
Police initially said the bomb was hidden in a truck piled high with electric fans and air conditioners.