BAGHDAD — A suicide bomber and several gunmen attacked a Sunni mosque in a volatile province outside Baghdad during Friday prayers, killing at least 64 people and wounding more than 60, officials said.
It was not immediately clear whether the attack was carried out by Shiite militiamen or the Islamic State extremist group, which has been advancing into the ethnically and communally mixed Diyala province and has been known to kill fellow Sunni Muslims who refuse to submit to its leadership.
An army officer and a police officer said the attack on the Musab bin Omair Mosque in Imam Wais village, some 75 miles northeast of Baghdad, began with a suicide bombing near the entrance, after which gunmen poured in and opened fire on the worshippers.
Officials in Imam Wais said Iraqi security forces and Shiite militiamen raced to the scene of the attack to reinforce security but stumbled upon bombs planted by the militants, which allowed the attackers to flee. Four Shiite militiamen were killed and thirteen wounded by the blasts. Outgoing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has called for an investigation.
Read Saturday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.