Bombings in Iraq on Friday left 22 dead and several more injured north of Baghdad. The attacks appeared to target Shiites with a car bomb and other attacks.
The bombings were the latest in an increasing wave of violence across the country, which is facing its deadliest outburst of violence since 2008.
More than 2,000 people have been killed in Iraq since the beginning of April. While there were no claims of responsibility for the bombings on Friday, the bloodshed has appeared to be caused by resurgent Sunni militants, like al Qaeda’s Iraq branch.
They are likely feeding off of the Sunni population’s frustration with the current Shiite-led government. The worst attack on Friday targeted Baghdad’s neighborhood of Kiraiyat as worshippers gathered together to call to prayers at the Hussienieh Ali Basha mosque.
Witnesses recalled a suicide bomber walking in during the service and detonating his explosives. The suicide attack killed 15 worshippers and wounded 32 others.
The attack happened after one near a Sunni protest camp earlier on Friday in the city of Samarra. A police officer stated that a vehicle packed with explosives detonated there.
In response to the attack at the Sunni protest, organizer Adnan Al-Muhanna called on Sunnis to follow the example set by Egyptians and protest in the streets daily. Muhanna explained:
“Demonstrations can make the change. Neither elections nor weapons can do that. Within one year, the Egyptians changed the Mursi regime through demonstrations because they were well-organized.”
Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, Mohammed Morsi, was ousted from office this week after widespread protests by opponents. Protest organizers in Samarra blamed the Shiite militias for the bombing, saying that security forces were responsible, because the car bomb passed through several checkpoints before reaching its deadly destination.
Protesters demands have ranged from amending laws they believe persecute Sunnis to carving out their own region within Iraq, much like the country’s Kurd population has done. Others have expressed their wish to tear up Iraq’s constitution.
Militant attacks killed 761 people across Iraq last month.
[Image via ShutterStock]