No compulsion in religion. “Iraq: Bicycle bomb strikes, 5 dead,” by Sinan Salaheddin for the Associated Press:
BAGHDAD – A booby-trapped bicycle exploded near a cafe serving tea and food during Ramadan fasting hours Sunday, killing at least five people in a religiously mixed area in northern Iraq, police said.
In all, at least 39 people were killed or found dead nationwide. The bloodshed came the day after
al-Qaida in Iraq announced a new offensive in the Islamic holy month and was a blow to
government hopes that a peaceful Ramadan would demonstrate the success of the seven-month
operation in the capital.
In the late-morning blast in Tuz Khormato, 130 miles north of Baghdad, witnesses said a boy left the bicycle bomb near the cafe, which was located in a popular market and was one of the few open during daylight hours despite Ramadan. Tradition requires faithful to abstain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset during the monthlong observance.
Two of the slain victims were in the cafe, while three were in the market, police chief Capt. Abbas Mohammed said. He also said 19 people were wounded.